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This book is due at the LOUIS R. WILSON LIBRARY on the 
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185 0. 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, m the year 1840, by 

Harper & Brothers, 

la the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New- York. 



The following sketches were written rather in the 
hope that chance would bring them to light when time 
would give them an interest, than in the belief that they 
would afford any interest to the readers of the present 
day. I knew, however, that the chance of their survi- 
ving the author would be increased in proportion to 
their popularity upon their first appearance ; and, there- 
fore, I used some little art in order to recommend them 
to the readers of my own times. They consist of no- 
thing more than fanciful combinations of real incidents 
and chatacter-s-f- and throwing into those scenes, which 
would be otherwise dull and insipid, some personal in- 
cident or adventure of my own, real or imaginary, as 
it would best suit my purpose ; usually real, but happen- 
ing at different times and under different circumstances 
from those in which they are here represented. I have 
not always, however, taken this liberty. Some of the 
scenes are as literally true as the frailties of memory 
would allow them to be. I commenced the publication 
of them, in one of the gazettes of the State, rather 
more than a year ago ; and I was not more pleased 
than astonished to find that they were well received by 
readers generally. For the last six months I have been 
importuned by persons from all quarters of the State 
to give them to the public in the present form. This 




volume is purely a concession to their entreaties. 
From private considerations, I was extremely desirous 
of concealing the author, and, the more effectually to do 
so, I wrote under two signatures. These have now be- 
come too closely interwoven with the sketches to be 
separated from them, without an expense of time and 
trouble which I am unwilling to incur,?f Hall is the 
writer of those sketches in which men appear as the 
principal actors, and Baldwin .of those in which women 
are the prominent figures. For the " Company Drill" 
I am indebted to a friend, of whose labours I would 
gladly have availed myself oftener. The reader will 
find in the object of the sketches an apology for the 
minuteness of detail into which some of them run, and 
for the introduction of some things into them which 
would have been excluded were they merely the crea- 
tions of fancy. 

I have not had it in my power to superintend the 
publication of them, though they issue from a press in 
the immediate vicinity of my residence. I discovered 
that, if the work was delayed until I could have an op- 
portunity of examining the proof-sheets, it would linger 
in the press until the expenses (already large) would 
become intolerable. Consequently, there may be many 
typographical errors among them, for which I must 
crave the reader's indulgence. 

I cannot conclude these introductory remarks with, 
out reminding those who have taken exceptions to the 
coarse, inelegant, and sometimes ungrammatical lan- 
guage which the writer represents himself as occasion, 
ally using, that it is language accommodated to the capa. 
city of the person to whom he represents himself as speak- 
ing. The Author. 


In justice to the author, the publishers feel bound to 
state, that the present edition of the " Georgia Scenes" 
has been reprinted verbatim from the original edition 
published at the South several years since. As yet, 
they have been unable to prevail upon the author to re* 
vise the work. The urgent demands for a new edition 
would not admit of a longer delay. . The publishers, 
therefore, in compliance with the wishes of the book- 
sellers, have printed a small edition of the work in its 
present shape, hoping the author may find it convenient 
to revise and extend the volume before another edition 
shall be required. 


.The Dance ,^%-d^- 

* The Horse- Swap ' t j^i^J^ t 

A Native Georgian .... " 32 

■^The Fight .'.*'" 53 

J? e ^ '.'.'.'. i^5-fb^;i 

^The Turn Out .ocS**.. .... 73 

^The " Charming Creature" as a Wife . ." '82-/3. 

*The Gander Pulling .- . " ^q 

ri , TheBa11 •■/«./.*..' .' !-119-^ 

The Mother and her Child . -130^5 . 

The Debating Society 133 

The Militia Drill . . " ' ,.- -- 

The Turf ....;;;; ; ; ^ 

A.n Interesting Interview . 161 
The Fox Hunt ......'. 

The Wax- Works ...'.* 

• •'• 1 Sage Conversation . 

The Shooting-Match ... 


186- h 



If my memory fail me not, the 10th of June, 1809 
found me, at about 11 o'clock in the forenoon, ascend, 
ing a long and gentle slope in what was called "The 
Dark Corner" of Lincoln. I believe it took its name 
from the moral darkness which reigned over that por- 
tion of the county at the time of which I am speaking. 
If in this point of view it was but a shade darker than 
the rest of the county, it was inconceivably dark. If 
any man can name a trick or sin which had not been 
committed at the time of which I am speaking, in the 
very focus of all the county's illumination (Lincolnton), 
he must himself be the most inventive of the tricky, 
and the very Judas of sinners. Since that time, how- 
ever (all humour aside), Lincoln has become a living 
proof "that light shineth in darkness." Could I ven- 
ture to mingle the solemn with the ludicrous, even for 
the purposes of honourable contrast, I could adduce 
from this county instances of the most numerous and 
wonderful transitions, from vice and folly to virtue and 
holiness, which have ever, perhaps, been witnessed since 
the days of the apostolic ministry. So much, lest it 
should be thought by some that what I am about to re- 
late is characteristic of the county in which it occurred. 

Whatever may be said of the moral condition of the 
Dark Corner at the time just mentioned, its natural 
condition was anything but dark. It smiled in all the 
charms of spring; and spring borrowed a new charm 
from its undulating grounds, Its luxuriant woodlands, 
its sportive streams, its vocal birds, and its blushing 


Rapt with the enchantment of the season and t"hp 
scenery around me, I was slowly rising the slope, when 
I was startled by loud, profane, and boisterous voices, 
which seemed to proceed from a thick covert of un- 
dergrowth about two hundred yards in the advance of 
me, and about one hundred to the right of my road. 

" You kin, kin you ?" 

" Yes, I kin, and am able to do it ! Boo-oo-oo ] 
Oh, wake snakes, and walk your chalks ! Brimstone 

and fire ! Don't hold me, Nick Stoval ! The 

fight's made up, and let's go at it. my soul if I 

don't jump down his throat, and gallop every chitterling 
out of him before you can say ' quit !' " 

" Now, Nick, don't hold him ! Jist let the wild-cat 
come, and I'll tame him. Ned'll see me a fair fight 
won't you, Ned ?" 

" Oh, ves ; I'll see you a fair fight, blast my old shoes 
if I don't." 

" That's sufficient, as Tom Haynes said when he 
saw the elephant. Now let him come." 

Thus they went on, with countless oaths interspersed, 
which 1 dare not even hint at, and with much that I 
could not distinctly hear. 

In Mercy's name ! thought I, what band of ruffians 
has selected this holy season and this heavenly retreat ' 
for such Pandsemonian riots ! I quickened my gait, 
and had come nearly opposite to the thick grove whence 
the noise proceeded, when my eye caught indistinctly, 
and at intervals, through the foliage of the dwarf-oaks 
and hickories which intervened, glimpses of a man ov 
men, who seemed to be in a violent struggle ; and I 
could occasionally catch those deep-drawn, emphatic 
oaths which men in conflict utter when they deal blows. 
I dismounted, and hurried to the spot with all speed. 
I had overcome about half the space which separated 
it from me, when I saw the combatants come to the 
ground, and, after a short struggle, I saw the uppermost 
one (for I could not see the other) make a heavy plunge 
with both his thumbs, and at the same instant I heard 


% cry in the accent of keenest torture, "Enough! 
My eye's out !" 

I was so completely horrorstruck, that I stood trans- 
fixed for a moment to the spot where the cry met me. 
The accomplices in the hellish deed which had been 
perpetrated had all fled at my approach ; at least I sup. 
posed so, for they were not to be seen. 

" Now, blast your corn-shucking soul," said the vic- 
tor (a youth* about eighteen years old) as he rose from 
the ground, " come cutt'n your shines 'bout me agin, 
next time I come to the Courthouse, will you ! Get 
your owl-eye in agin if you can !" 

At this moment he saw me for the first time. He 
looked excessively embarrassed, and was moving ofF, 
when I called to him, in a tone imboldened by the sa- 
credness of my office and the iniquity of his crime, 
" Come back, you brute ! and assist me in relieving 
your fellow-mortal, whom you have ruined for ever!" 

My rudeness subdued his embarrassment in an in- 
stant ; and, with a taunting curl of the nose, he repli- 
ed, " You needn't kick before you're spurr'd. There 
a'nt nobody there, nor ha'nt been nother. I was jist 
seein' how I could 'a' fout." So saying, he bounded 
to his plough, which stood in the corner of the fence 
about fifty yards beyond the battle ground. 

And, would you believe it, gentle reader ! his report 
was true. All that I had heard and seen was nothing 
more nor less than a Lincoln rehearsal ; in which the 
youth who had just left me had played all the parts of 
all the characters in a Courthouse fight. 

I went to the ground from which he had risen, and 
there were the prints of his two thumbs, plunged up to 
the balls in the mellow earth, about the distance of a 
man's eyes apart ; and the ground around was broken 
up as if two stags had been engaged upon it. 





Some years ago I was called by business to one of 
the frontier counties, then but recently settled. It be. 
came necessary for me, while there, to enlist the ser- 
vices of Thomas Gibson, Esq., one of the magistrates 
of the county, who resided about a mile and a half 
from my lodgings ; and to this circumstance was I in- 
bted for my introduction to him. I had made the in- 
tended disposition of my business, and was on the eve 
of my departure for the city of my residence, when I 
was induced to remain a day longer by an invitation 
from the squire to attend a dance at his house on the 
following day. Having learned from my landlord that 
I would probably " be expected at the frolic" about the 
hour of 10 in the forenoon, and being desirous of see- 
ing all that passed upon the occasion, I went over about 
an hour before the time. 
,_. The squire's dwelling consisted of but one room, 
*" which answered the threefold purpose of dining-room, 
bedroom, and kitchen. The house was constructed of 
logs, and the floor was of puncheons ; a term which, in 
Georgia, means split logs, with their faces a little 
smoothed with the axe or hatchet. To gratify his 
daughters, Polly and Silvy, the old gentleman and his 
lady had consented to camp out for a day, and to surren- 
der the habitation to the girls and their young friends. 
When I reached there I found all things in readiness 
for ihe promised amusement. The girls, as the old 
gentleman informed me, had compelled the family to 
breakfast under the trees, for they had completely 
stripped the house of its furniture before the sun rose. 
They were already attired for the dance, in neat but 
plain habiliments of their own manufacture. " What '" 


says some weakly, sickly, delicate, useless, affected, 
" charming creature" of the city, " dressed for a ball 
at 9 in the morning !" Even so, my delectable Miss 
Octavia Matilda Juliana Claudia Ipecacuanha : and 
what have you to say against it"? If people must 
dance, is it not much more rational to employ the hour 
allotted to exercise in that amusement, than the hours 
sacred to repose and meditation ? And which is en- 
titled to the most credit ; the young dady who rises 
with the dawn, and puts herself and whole house in or 
der for a ball four hours before it begins, or the onft 
who requires a fortnight to get herself dressed for it ? 

The squire and I employed the interval in conver- 
sation about the first settlement of the country, in the 
course of which I picked up some useful and much in- 
teresting information. We were at length interrupted, 
however, by the sound of a violin, which proceeded 
from a thick wood at my left. The performer soon 
after made his appearance, and proved to be no other 
than Billy Porter, a negro fellow of much harmless 
wit and humour, who was well known throughout the 
state. Poor Billy ! " his harp is now hung upon the 
willow ;" and I would not blush to offer a tear to his 
memory, for Iris name is associated with some of the 
happiest scenes of my life, and he sleeps with many a 
dear friend, who used to join me in provoking his wit 
and in laughing at his eccentricities ; but I am leading 
my reader to the grave instead of the dance, which I 
promised. If, however, his memory reaches twelve 
years back, he will excuse this short tribute of respect 
to Billy Porter. 

Billy, to give his own account of himself, " had been 
taking a turn with the brethren (the Bar) ; and, hear- 
ing the ladies wanted to see pretty Billy, had come to 
gjve them a benefit." The squire had not seen him 
before ; and it is no disrespect to his understanding or 
politeness to say, that he found it impossible to give 
me his attention for half an hour after Billy arrived. 
I had nothing to do, therefore, while the young people 
were assembling, but to improve- my kn pledge of 


Bil l y's character, to the squire's amusement. I had 
been thus engaged about thirty minutes, when I saw 
several fine, bouncing, ruddy-cheeked girls descending 
a hill about the eighth of a mile off. They, too, were 
attired in manufactures of their own hands. The re- 
finements of the present day in female dress had not 
even reached our republican cities at this time ; and, 
of course, the country girls were wholly ignorant of 
them. They carried no more cloth upon their arms 
or straw upon their heads than was necessary to cover 
them. They used no artificial means of spreading 
their frock tails to an interesting extent from their an- 
kles. They had no boards laced to their breasts, nor 
any corsets laced to their sides ; consequently, they 
looked, for all the world, like human beings, and could 
be distinctly recognised as such at the distance of two 
hundred paces. Their movements were as free and 
active as nature would permit them to be. Let me 
not be understood as interposing the least objection to 
any lady in this land of liberty dressing just as she 
pleases. If she choose to lay her neck and shoulders 
bare, what right have I to look at them 1 much less to 
find fauit with them. If she choose to put three yards 
of muslin in a frock sleeve, what right have I to ask 
why a little strip of it was not put in the body ? If she 
like the pattern of a hoisted umbrella for a frock, and 
the shape of a cheese-cask for her body, what is all 
that to me 1 But to return. 

The girls were met by Polly and Silvy Gibson at 
some distance from the house, who welcomed them — 
" with a kiss, of course" — oh, no ; but with something 
much less equivocal : a hearty shake of the hand and 
smiling countenances, which had some meaning. 

[Note. — The custom of kissing, as practised in these 
days by the amidbles, is borrowed from the French, 
and by them from Judas.] 

The young ladies had generally collected before any 
of the young men appeared. It was not long, howev- 
er, before a large number of both sexes were assem 
bled, and they adjourned to the ballroom 


But for the snapping of a fiddle-string, the young 
people would have been engaged in the amusement of 
the day in less than three minutes from the time they 
entered the house. Here were no forrgal- introductions 
to be given, no drawing for places or partners, no pa- 
rade of managers, no ceremonies. It was perfectly 
understood that all were invited to dance, and that none 
were invited who were unworthy to" be danced with ; 
consequently, no gentleman hesitated to ask any lady 
present to dance with him, and no lady refused to 
dance with a gentleman merely because she had not 
been made acquainted with him. 

In a short time the string was repaired, and off went 
the party to a good old republican six reel. I had 
been thrown among fashionables so long that I had al- 
most forgotten my native dance. But it revived rap 
idly as they wheeled through its mazes, and with it re- 
turned many long-forgotten, pleasing recollections. 
Not only did the reel return to me, but the very per- 
sons who used to figure in it with me, in the heyday 
of youth. 

Here was my old sweetheart, Polly Jackson, iden- 
tically personified in Polly Gibson ; and here was Jim 
Johnson's, in Silvy ; and Bill Martin's, in Nancy Ware. 
Polly Gibson had my old flame's very steps as well as 
her looks. " Ah !" said I, " squire, this puts me in 
mind of old times. I have not seen a six reel for five- 
and-twenty years. It recalls to my mind many a hap- 
py hour, and many a jovial friend who used to enliven 
it with me. jf^Your Polly looks so much like my old 
sweetheart, Polly Jackson, that, were I young again, I 
certainly should fall in love with her." 

"That was the name of her mother," said the 

" Where did you marry her ?" inquired I. 

" In Wilkes," said he ; " she was the daughter of 
old Nathan Jackson, of that county." 

" It isn't possible !" returned I. " Then it is the 
very girl of whom I am speaking. Where is she ? ' 

" She's out/' said the squire, " preparing dinner for 


the young people ; but she'll be in towards the close of 
the day. g?But come along, and I'll make you acquaint- 
ed with her at once, if you'll promise not to run away 
with her, for I tell you what it is, she's the likeliest gal 
in all these parts yet." 

" Well," said I, " I'll promise not to run away with 
her, but ycfu must not let her know who I am. I wish 
to make myself known to her ; and, for fear of the 
worst, you shall witness the introduction. <j$3ut don't 
get jealous, squire, if she seems a little too glad to see 
me ; for, I assure you, we had a strong notion of each . 
other when we were young." 

" No danger," replied the squire ; " she hadn't seen 
me then, or she never could have loved such. a hard fa- 
voured man as you are." 

In the mean time the dance went on, and I employed 
myself in selecting from the party the best examples of 
the dancers of my day and Mrs. Gibson's for her en- 
tertainment. In this I had not the least difficulty ; for 
the dancers before me and those of my day were in all 
respects identical. 

Jim Johnson kept up the double shuffle from the be- 
ginning to the end of the reel : and here was Jim 
over again in Sammy Tant. Bill Martin always set 
to his partner with the same step ; and a very curious 
step it was. He brought his right foot close behind his 
left, and with it performed precisely the motion of the 
thumb in cracking that insect which Burns has immor- 
talized ; then moved his right back, threw his weight 
upon it, brought his left behind it, and cracked with 
that as before ; and so on alternately. Just so did Bill 
Kemp, to a nail. Bob Simons danced for all the world 
like a " Suple Jack" (or, as we commonly call it, a 
" Suple Sawney"), when the string is pulled with varied 
force, at intervals of seconds : and so did Jake Slack. 
Davy Moore went like a suit of clothes upon a clothing 
line on a windy day : and here was his antitype in 
Ned Clark. Rhoda Nobles swam through the reel like 
a cork on wavy waters ; always giving two or three 
pretty little perchbite diddles as she rose from a cou- 


pee : Nancy Ware was her very self. Becky Lewi3 
made a business of dancing ; she disposed of her part 
as quick as possible, stopped dead short as soon as she 
got through, and looked as sober as a judge all the 
time ; even so did Chloe Dawson. I used to tell Polly 
Jackson, that Becky's countenance, when she closed a 
dance, always seemed to say, " Now, if you want any 
more dancing, you may do it yourself." 

The dance grew merrier as it progressed ; the young 
people became more easy in each other's company, and 
often enlivened the scene with most humorous remarks. 
Occasionally some sharp cuts passed between the boys, 
such as would have produced half a dozen duels at a 
city ball ; but here they were taken as they were 
meant, in good humour. Jim Johnson being a little 
tardy in meeting his partner at a turn of the reel, " I 
ax pardon, Miss Chloe," said he, " Jake Slack went to 
make a crosshop just now, and tied his legs in a hard 
knot, and I stop'd to help him untie them." A little 
after, Jake hung his toe in a crack of the floor, and 
nearly fell ; " Ding my buttons," said he, " if I didn't 
know I should stumble over Jim Johnson's foot at last ; 
Jim, draw your foot up to your own end of the reel." 
(Jim was at the other end of the reel, and had, in truth, 
a prodigious foot.) 

I Towards the middle of the day, many of the neigh- 
/bouring farmers dropped in, and joined the squire and 
myself in talking of old times. At length dinner was 
announced. It consisted of plain fare, but there was a 
profusion of it. Rough planks, supported by stakes 
driven in the ground, served for a table ; at which the 
old and young of both sexes seated themselves at the 
same time. I soon recognised Mrs. Gibson from all 
the matrons present. Thirty years had wrought great 
cnanges in her appearance, but they had left some of 
her features entirely unimpaired. Her eye beamed 
with all its youthful fire ; and, to my astonishment, her 
mouth was still beautified with a full set of teeth, un- 
blemished by time. The rose on her cheek had rather 
freshened than faded and her smile was the very same 


that first subdued my heart ; but her fine form was 
wholly lost, and, with it, all the grace of her move- 
ments. Pleasing but melancholy reflections occupied 
my mind as I gazed on her dispensing her cheerful 
hospitalities. I thought of the sad history of many of 
her companions and mine, who used to carry light 
hearts through the merry dance. I compared my af- 
ter life with the cloudless days of my attachment to 
Polly. Then I was light hearted, gay, contented, and 
happy, f I aspired to nothing but a good name, a good 
wife, and an easy competence. The first and last 
were mine already ; and Polly had given me too many 
little tokens of her favour to leave a doubt now that the 
second was at my command. But I was foolishly told 
that my talents were of too high an order to be employ, 
ed in the drudgeries of a farm, and I more foolishly be- 
lieved it. I forsook the pleasures which I had tried 
and proved, and went in pursuit of those imaginary 
joys which seemed to encircle the seat of Fame. 
From that moment to the present, my life had been lit- 
tle else than one unbroken scene of disaster, disap- 
pointment, vexation, and toil. And now, when I was 
too old to enjoy the pleasures which I had discarded, I 
found that my aim was absolutely hopeless ; and that 
my pursuits had only served to unfit me for the hum- 
bler walks of life, and to exclude me from the higher. 
The gloom of the^e reflections was, however, lightened 
in a measure by the promises of the coming hour, when 
I was to live over again with Mrs. Gibson some of the 
happiest moments of my life. 

After a hasty repast the young people returned to 
tneir amusement, followed by myself, with several of 
the elders of the company. An hour had scarcely 
elapsed before Mrs. Gibson entered, accompanied by a 
goodly number of matrons of her own age. This ac- 
cession to the company produced its usual effects. It 
raised the tone of conversation a full octave, and gave 
it a triple time movement ; added new life to the wit. 
and limbs of the young folks, and set the old men t< 
cracking jokes. 


At length the time arrived for me to surprise and 
delight Mrs. Gibson. The young people insisted upon 
the old folks taking a reel ; and this was just what I 
had been waiting for ; for, after many plans for making 
the discovery, I had finally concluded upon that which 
I thought would make her joy general among the com- 
pany : and that was, to announce myself, just before 
leading her to the dance, in a voice audible to most of 
the assembly. I therefore readily assented to the prop- 
osition of the young folks, as did two others of my age, 
and we made to the ladies for our partners. I, of 
course, offered my hand to Mrs. Gibson. 
$£" Come," said I, " Mrs. Gibson, let us see if we can't 
out-dance these young people." 

" Dear me, sir," said she, " I haven't danced a step 
these twenty years." 

" Neither have I ; but I've resolved to try once more, 
if you will join me, just for old time's sake." 

" I really cannot think of dancing," said she. 

" Well," continued I (raising my voice to a pretty 
high pitch, on purpose to be heard, while my counte- 
nance kindled with exultation at the astonishment and 
delight which I was about to produce), " you surely 
will dance with an old friend and sweetheart, who used 
to dance with you when a girl !"»»*«»^._ 

At this disclosure her features assumed a vast vari- 
ety of expressions ; but none of them responded pre- 
cisely to my expectation : indeed, some of them were 
of such an equivocal and alarming character, that I 
deemed it advisable not to prolong her suspense. I 
therefore proceeded : 

/r Have you forgot your old sweetheart, Abram Bald- 
win ?" "* 

""""** What !" said she, looking more astonished and con- 
fused than ever. " Abram Baldwin ! Abram Baldwin ! 
I don't think I ever heard the name before." 

" Do you remember Jim Johnson ?" said I. 

"Oh, yes," said she, " mighty well," her countenance 
brightening with a smile. 

"And Bill Martin?" 


" Yes, perfectly well ; why, who are you V 
aJJere we were interrupted by one of the gentlemen, 
who had led his partner to the floor, with, " Come, stran- 
ger, we're getting mighty tired o' standing. It won't 
do for old people that's going to dance to take up much 
time in standing ; they'll lose all their spryness. Af Don't 
stand begging Polly Gibson, she never dances ; but take 
my Sal there, next to her ; she'll run a reel with you, to 
old Nick's house and back agin." 

No alternative was left me, and therefore I offered 
my hand to Mrs. Sally — I didn't know who. 

" Well," thought I, as I moved to my place, " the 
squire is pretty secure from jealousy ; but Polly will 
soon remember me when she sees my steps in the reel. 
I will dance precisely as I used to in my youth, if it 
tire me to death." There was one step that was al- 
most exclusively my own, for few of the dancers of my 
day could perform it at all, and none with the grace 
and ease that I did. " She'll remember Abram Bald- 
win," thought I, " as soon as she sees the double cross- 
hop." It was performed by rising and crossing the 
legs twice or thrice before lighting, and I used to carry 
it to the third cross with considerable ease. It was a 
step solely adapted to setting or balancing, as all will 
perceive ; but I thought the occasion would justify a 
little perversion of it, and therefore resolved to lead oiT 
with it, that Polly might be at once relieved from sus- 
pense. " Just, however, as I reached my place, Mrs. 
Gibson's youngest son, a boy about eight years old, 
ran in and cried out, " Mammy, old Boler's jump'd upon 
the planks, and dragg'd off a great hunk o' meat as big 
as your head, and broke a dish and two plates all to 
darn smashes !" Away went Mrs. Gibson, and off 
went the music. Still I hoped that matters would be 
adjusted in time for Polly to return and see the dou- 
ble cross-hop ; and I felt the mortification which my 
delay in getting a partner had occasioned somewhat 
solaced by the reflection that it had thrown me at the 
foot of the reel. 

The first and second couples had nearly complete 


tneir performances, and Polly had not returned. I be- 
gan to grow uneasy, and to interpose as many delays 
as I could without attracting notice. 

The six reel is closed by the foot couple balancing at 
the head of the set, then in the middle, then at the foot, 
again in the middle, meeting at the head, and leading 

My partner and I had commenced balancing at the 
head, and Polly had not returned. I balanced until my 
partner forced me on. I now deemed" it advisable to 
give myself up wholly to the double cross-hop ; so that, 
if Polly should return in time to see any step, it should 
be this, though I was already nearly exhausted. Ac- 
cordingly, I made the attempt to introduce it in the 
turns of the reel ; but the first experiment convinced 
me of three things at once : 1st. That I could not have 
used the step in this way in my best days ; 2d. That 
my strength would not more than support it in its prop- 
er place for the remainder of the reel ; and, 3d. If I 
tried it again in this way, I should knock my brains out 
against the puncheons ; for my partner, who seemed 
determined to confirm her husband's report of her, 
evinced no disposition to wait upon experiments ; but, 
fetching me a jerk while I was up and my legs crossed, 
had wellnigh sent me head foremost to Old Nick's 
house, sure enough. 

We met in the middle, my back to the door, and from 
the silence that prevailed in the yard, I flattered myself 
that Polly might be even now catching the first glimpse 
of the favourite step, when I heard her voice at some 
distance from the house : " Get you gone.! G-e-e-e-t 
you gone ! G-e-e-e-e-e-t you gone !" Matters out 
doors were now clearly explained. There had been 
a struggle to get the meat from Boler ; Boler had tri- 
umphed, and retreated to the woods with his booty, 
and Mrs. Gibson was heaping indignities upon him in 
the last resort. 

The three " Get-you-gones" met me precisely at the 
three closing balances ; and the last brought my moral 
energies to a perfect level with my physical. 


Mrs. Gibson returned, however, in a few mjnutes* 
after, in a good humour ; for she possessed a lovely 
disposition, which even marriage could not spoil. As 
soon as I could collect breath enough for regular con- 
versation (for, to speak in my native dialect, I was 
* mortal tired"), I took a seat by her, resolved not to 
quit the house without making myself known to her, if 

" How much," said I, "your Polly looks and dances 
like you used to, at her age." 

" I've told my old man so a hundred times," said she. 
" Why, who upon earth are you !" 

" Did you ever see two persons dance more alike than 
Jim Johnson and Sammy Tant ?" 

" Never. Why, who can you be !" 

u You remember Becky Lewis ?" 


" Well, look at Chloe Dawson, and you'll see her 
over again." 

" Well, law me ! Now I know I must have seen you 
somewhere ; but, to save my life, I can't tell where 
Where did your father live ?•" 

" He died when I was small." 

" And where did you use to see me ?" 

" At your father's, and old Mr. Dawson's, and at 
Mrs. Barnes's, and at Squire Noble's, and many other 

" Well, goodness me ! it's mighty strange I can't call 
vou to mind." 

I now began to get petulant, and thought it best to 
leave her. • 

The dance wound up with the old merry jig, and the 
company dispersed. 

The next day I set out for my residence. I had been 
at home rather more than two months, when I receiv- 
ed the following letter from Squire Gibson : 

" Dear Sir : I send you the money collected on the 
notes you left with me. Since you left here, Polly has 
been thinking about old times, and she says, to save 
her life, she can't recollect you." 




During the session of the Supreme Court, in the 

village of , about three weeks ago, when a number 

of people were collected in the principal street of the 
village, I observed a young man riding up and down 
the street, as I supposed, in a violent passion. He 
galloped this way, then that, and then the other ; spur- 
red his horse to one group of citizens, then to another • 
then dashed off at half speed, as if fleeing from dan. 
ger ; and, suddenly checking his horse, returned first in 
a pace, then in a trot, and then in a canter. While 
he was performing these various evolutions, he cursed, 
swore, whooped, screamed, and tossed himself in every 
attitude which man could assume on horseback. In 
short, he cavorted most magnanimously (a term which, 
in our tongue, expresses all that I have described, and 
a little more), and seemed to be setting all creation at 
defiance. As I like to see all that is passing, I deter- 
mined to take a position a little nearer to him, and to 
ascertain, if possible, what it was that affected him so 
sensibly. Accordingly, I approached a crowd before 
which he had stopped for a moment, and examined it 
with the strictest scrutiny. But I could see nothing 
in it that seemed to have anything to do with the ca- 
vorter. Every man appeared to be in good humour, 
and all minding their own business. Not one so much 
as noticed the principal figure. Still he went on. Af- 
ter a semicolon pause, which my appearance seemed to 
produce (for he eyed me closely as I approached), h 
fetched a whoop, and swore that " he could out-swap 
any live man, woman, or child that ever walked these 
hills, or that ever straddled horseflesh since the days of 
old daddy Adam. Stranger," said he to me, " did you 
ever see the Yalloiv Blossom from Jasper ?" 


" No,' said I, " but I have often heart of him. 

" I'm the boy," continued he ; " perhaps a leetle, jist 
a leetle, of the best man at a horse-swap that ever trod 

I began to feel my situation a little awkward, when I 
was relieved by a man somewhat advanced in years, 
who stepped up and began to survey the " Yallow Blos- 
som's" horse with much apparent interest. This drew 
the rider's attention, and he. turned the conversation 
from me to the stranger. 

" Well, my old coon," said he, " do you want to swap 
hosses ?" 

" Why, I don't know," replied the stranger ; " I be- 
lieve I've got a beast I'd trade with you for that one, if 
you like him." 

" Well, fetch up your nag, my old cock ; you're jist 
the lark I wanted to get hold of. I am perhaps a leetle, 
ust a leetle, of the best man at a horse-swap that ever 
stole cracklins out of his mammy's fat gourd. Where's 
your hoss ?" 

" I'll bring him presently ; but I want to examine 
your horse a little." 

' " Oh ! look at him," said the Blossom, alighting and 
hitting him a cut ; " look at him. He's the best piece 
of hossResh. in the thirteen united univarsal worlds 
There's no sort o' mistake in little Bullet. He can 
pick up miles on his feet, and fling 'em behind him as 
fast as the next man's hoss, I don't care where he comes 
from. And he can keep at it as long as the sun can 
shine without resting." 

During this harangue, little Bullet looked as if he un 
derstood it all, believed it, and was ready at any mo- 
ment to verify it. He was a horse of goodly counte 
nance, rather expressive of vigilance than fire ; though 
an unnatural appearance of fierceness was thrown into 
it by the loss of his ears, which had been cropped pretty 
close to his head. Nature had done but little for Bul- 
let's head and neck ; but he managed, in a great meas 
ure, to hide their defects by bowing perpetually. He 
had obviously suffered severely for corn ; but if his ribs 


and hip bones had not disclosed the fact, he never would 
have done it ; for he was in all respects as cheerful ?.nd 
happy as if he commanded all the corn-cribs and tod- 
der-stacks in Georgia. His height was about twelve 
hands ; but as his shape partook somewhat of that of 
the giraffe, his haunches stood much lower. They 
were short, strait, peaked, and concave. Bullet's tail, 
however, made amends for all his defects. All that 
die artist could do to beautify it had been done ; and 
all that horse could do to compliment the artist, Bullet 
did. His tail was nicked in superior style, and exhib- 
ited the line of beauty in so many directions, that it 
could not fail to hit the most fastidious taste in some 
of them. From the root it dropped into a graceful 
festoon ; then rose in a handsome curve ; then resu- 
med its §rst direction ; and then mounted suddenly up- 
ward like a cypress knee to a perpendicular of about 
two and a half inches. The whole had a careless and 
bewitching inclination to the right. Bullet obviously 
knew where his beauty lay, and took all occasions to 
display it to the best advantage. If a stick cracked, 
or if any one moved suddenly about him, or coughed, 
or hawked, or spoke a little louder than common, up 
went Bullet's tail like lightning ; and if the going up 
did not please, the coming down must of necessity, for 
it was as different from the other movement as was its 
direction. The first, was a bold and rapid flight up- 
ward, usually to an angle of forty-five degrees. In 
this position he kept his interesting appendage until 
he satisfied himself that nothing in particular was to be 
done ; when he commenced dropping it by half inches, 
in second beats, then in triple time, then faster and 
shorter, and faster and shorter still, until it finally died 
away imperceptibly into its natural position. If I might 
compare sights to sounds, I should say its settling was 
more like the note of a iocnst than anything else in 

Either from native sprightliness of disposition, from 
uncontrollable activity, or from an unconquerable habit 
of removing flies by the stamping of the feet, Bullet 


never stood still ; but always kept up a gentle fly-sca- 
ring movement of his limbs, which was peculiarly in- 

" I tell you, man," proceeded the Yellow Blossom, 
" he's the best live hoss that ever trod the grit of Geor- 
gia. Bob Smart knows the hoss. Come here, Bob, 
and mount this hoss, and show Bullet's motions." 
Here Bullet bristled up, and looked as if he had been 
hunting for Bob all day long, and had just found him. 
Bob sprang on his back. " Boo-oo-oo !" said Bob, 
with a fluttering noise of the lips ; and away went Bui- 
let, as if in a quarter race, with all his beauties spread 
in handsome style. 

"Now fetch him back," said Blossom. Bullet turn, 
ed and came in pretty much as he went out. 

" Now trot him by." Bullet reduced his tail to " cus- 
tomary j" sidled to the right and left airily, and exhibited 
at least three varieties of trot in the short space of fif- 
ty yards. 

"Make him pace!" Bob commenced twitching the 
bridle and kicking at the same time. These inconsist- 
ent movements obviously (and most naturally) discon- 
certed Bullet ; for it was impossible for him to learn, 
from them, whether he was to proceed or stand still. 
He started to trot, and was told that wouldn't do. He 
attempted a canter, and was checked again. He stop- 
ped, and was urged to go on. Bjullet now rushed into 
the wide field of experiment, and struck out a gait of 
his own, that completely turned the tables upon his ri- 
der, and certainly deserved a patent. It seemed to 
have derived its elements from the jig, the minuet, and 
the cotillon. If it was not a pace, it certainly had pace 
in it, and no man would venture to call it anything else ; 
so it passed off to the satisfaction of the owner. 

" Walk him !" Bullet was now at home again ; and 
he walked as if money was staked on him. 

The stranger, whose name, I afterward learned, was 
Peter Ketch, having examined Bullet to his heart's con- 
tent, ordered his son Neddy to go and bring up Kit. 
Neddy soon appeared upon Kit ; a well-formed sorre' 


.. cue middle size, and in good order. His tout en. 
semble threw Bullet entirely in the shade, though a 
glance was sufficient to satisfy any one that Bullet had 
the decided advantage of him in point of mtellect. 

" Why, man," said Blossom, " do you bring such a 
hoss as that to trade for Bullet 1 Oh, I see you're no 
notion of trading." 

" Ride him off, Neddy !" said Peter. Kit put off at 
a handsome lope. 

" Trot him back !" Kit came in at a long, sweep- 
ing trot, and stopped suddenly at the crowd. 

" Well," said Blossom, " let me look at him ; maybe 
he'll do to plough." 

"Examine him !" said Peter, taking hold of the bri- 
dle close to the mouth ; " he's nothing but a tacky. 
He an't as pretty a horse as Bullet, I know ; but he'll 
do. Start 'em together for a hundred and fifty mile ; 
and if Kit an't twenty mile ahead of him at the com- 
ing out, any man may take Kit for nothing. But he's 
a monstrous mean horse, gentleman ; any man may 
see that. He's the scariest horse, too, you ever saw. 
He won't do to hunt on, no how. Stranger, will you 
let Neddy have your rifle to shoot off him ? Lay the 
rifle between his ears, Neddy, and shoot at the blaze 
in that stump. Tell me when his head is high enough." 

Ned fired, and hit the blaze ; and Kit did not move 
a hair's breadth. ^^ 

" Neddy, take a couple of sticks, and beat on that 
hogshead at Kit's tail?' 

Ned made a tremendous rattling, at which Bullet 
took fright, broke his bridle, and dashed off in grand 
style ; and would have stopped all farther negotiations 
by going home in disgust, had not a traveller arrested 
him and brought him back ; but Kit did not move. 

" I tell you, gentlemen," continued Peter, " he's thj 
scariest horse you ever saw. He an't as gentle as 
Bullet, but he won't do any harm if you watch him. 
Shall I put him in a cart, gig, or wagon for you, stran- 
ger 1 He'll cut the same capers there he does here 
He s a monstrous mean horse." 



During all this time Blossom was examining him 
with the nicest scrutiny. Having examined his frame 
and limbs, he now looked at his eyes. 

" He's got a curious look out of his eyes," said 

"Oh yes, sir," said Peter, "just as blind as a bat. 
Blind horses always have clear eyes. Make a motion 
at his eyes, if you please, sir." 

Blossom did so, and Kit threw up his head rather as 
/f something pricked him under the chin than as if fear- 
ing a blow. Blossom repeated the experiment, and 
Kit jerked back in considerable astonishment. 

" Stone blind, you see, gentlemen," proceeded Pe- 
ter ; " but he's just as good to travel of a dark night 
as if he had eyes." 

"Blame my buttons," said Blossom, " if I like them 

" No," said Peter, " nor I neither. I'd rather have 
'em made of diamonds ; but they'll do, if they don't 
show as much white as Bullet's." 

" Well," said Blossom, " make a pass at me." 

" No," said Peter ; " you made the banter, now make 
your pass." 

" Well, I'm never afraid to price my hosses. You 
must give me twenty-flve dollars boot." 

" Oh, certainly ; say fifty, and my saddle and bridle 
in. Here, Neddy, my son, take away daddy's horse." 

" Well," said Blossom, "I've' made my pass, now 
you make yours." 

" I'm for short talk in a horse-swap, and therefore 
always tell a gentleman at once what I mean to do. 
You must give me ten dollars." 

Blossom swore absolutely, roundly, and profanely, 
that he never would give boot. 

" Well," said Peter, " I didn't care about trading ; 
but you cut such high shines, that I thought I'd like to 
back you out, and I've done it. Gentlemen, you see 
I've brought him to a hack." 

" Come, old man," said Blossom, " I've been joking 
with you. I begin to think you do want to trade ; 


therefore, give me five dollars and take Bullet. I'd 
rather lose ten dollars any time than not make a trade, 
though I hate to fling away a good h&ss." 

" Well," said Peter, " I'll be as clever as you are 
Just put the five dollars on Bullet's back, and hand him 
over ; it's a trade." 

Blossom swore again, as roundly as before, that he 
would not give boot ; and, said he, " Bullet wouldn't 
hold five dollars on his back, no how. But, as I ban- 
tered you, if you say an even swap, here's at you." 

" I told you," said Peter, " I'd be as clever as you , 
therefore, here goes two dollars more, just for trade 
sake. Give me three dollars, and it's a bargain." 

Blossom repeated his former assertion ; and here 
the parties stood for a long time, and the by-standers 
(for many were now collected) began to taunt both par- 
ties. After some time, however, it was pretty unani- 
mously decided that the old man had backed Blossom 

At length Blossom swore he "never would be backed 
out for three dollars after bantering a man ;" and, ac 
cordingly, they closed the trade. 

" Now," said Blossom, as he handed Peter the three 
dollars, " I'm a man that, when he makes a bad trade, 
makes the most of it until he can make a better. I'm 
for no rues and after-claps." 

" That's just my way," said Peter ; " I never goes 
to law to mend my bargains." 

" Ah, you're the kind of boy I love to trade with. 
Here's your hoss, old man. Take the saddle and bri- 
dle off him, and I'll strip yours ; but lift up the blan- 
ket easy from Bullet's back, for he's a mighty tender- 
backed hoss." 

The old man removed the saddle, but the blanket 
stuck fast. He attempted to raise it, and Bullet bow 
ed himself, switched his tail, danced a little, and gave 
signs of biting. 

" Don't hurt him, old man," said Blossom, arehly ; 
" take it off easy. I am, perhaps, a leetle of th# l "<?st 
man at a horse-swap that ever catched a coon "* 
C 2 


Peter continued to pull at the blanket more and more 
roughly, and Bullet became more and more cavortish : 
insomuch that, when the blanket came off, he had reach- 
ed the kicking point in good earnest. 

The removal of the blanket disclosed a sore on Bui- 
-et's back-bone that seemed to have defied all medical 
skill. It measured six full inches in length and four in 
breadth, and had as many features as Bullet had mo- 
tions. My heart sickened at the sight ; and I felt that 
the brute who had been riding him in that situation de- 
served the halter. 

The prevailing feeling, however, was that of mirth. 
The laugh became loud and general at the old man's 
expense, and rustic witticisms were liberally bestowed 
upon him and his late purchase. These Blossom con- 
tinued to provoke by various remarks. He asked the 
old man " if he thought Bullet would let five dollars lie 
on his back." He declared most seriously that he had 
owned that horse three months, and had never discov- 
ered before that he had a sore back, " or he never should 
have thought of trading him," &c, &c. 

The old man bore it all with the most philosophic 
composure. He evinced no astonishment at his late 
discovery, and made no replies. But his son Neddy 
had not disciplined his feelings quite so well. His 
eyes opened wider and wider from the first to the last 
pull of the blanket ; and, when the whole sore burst 
upon his view, astonishment and fright seemed to con- 
tend for the mastery of his countenance. As the 
blanket disappeared, he stuck his hands in his breeches 
pockets, heaved a deep sigh, and lapsed into a profound 
revery, from which he was only roused by the cuts at 
his father. He bore them as long as he could ; and, 
when he could contain himself no longer, he began, 
with a certain wildness of expression which gave a pe- 
culiar interest to what he uttered : " His back's mighty 
bad off"; but dod drot my soul if he's put it to daddy 
as bad as he thinks he has, for old Kit's both blind and 
deef, I'll be dod drot if he eint." 

" The devil he is," said Blossom. 


" Yes, dod drot my soul if he eint. You walk him, 
and see if he eint. His eyes don't look like it ; but 
he'd jist as leve go agin the house with you, or in a 
ditch, as any how. Now you go try him." The 
laugh was now turned on Blossom ; and many rushed 
to test the fidelity of the little boy's report. A few ex- 
periments established its truth beyond controversy. 

" Neddy," said the old man, " you oughtn't to try 
and make people discontented with their things 
Stranger, don't mind what the little boy says. It 
you can only get Kit rid of them little failings, you'll 
find him all sorts of a horse. You are a leetle the best 
man at a horse-swap that ever I got hold of; but don't 
ktol away Kit. Come, Neddy, my son, let's be mo- 
'ing ; the stranger seems to be getting snappish." 




There are some yet living who knew the man whose 
character I am about to delineate ; and these will unan- 
imously bear testimony, that, if it be not faithfully 
drawn, it is not overdrawn. They cannot avouch for 
the truth of the anecdotes which I am about to relate 
of him, because of these they know nothing ; but they 
will unhesitatingly declare, that there is nothing herein 
ascribed to him of which he was incapable, and of 
which he would not readily have been the author, sup- 
posing the scenes in which I have placed him to be 
real, and the thoughts and actions attributed to him to 
have actually suggested themselves to him. They 
will farther testify, that the thoughts and actions are in 
perfect harmony with his general character. 

I do not feel at liberty as yet to give the name of the 
person in question, and therefore he shall be designa 
ted for the present by the appellation of Ned Brace. 

This man seemed to live only to amuse himself with 
his fellow-beings, and he possessed the rare faculty of 
deriving some gratification of his favourite propensity 
from almost every person whom he met, no matter 
what his temper, standing, or disposition. Of course 
he had opportunities enough of exercising his uncom- 
mon gift, and he rarely suffered an opportunity to pass 
unimproved. The beau in the presence of his mis- 
tress, the fop, the pedant, the purse-proud, the over-fas- 
tidious and sensitive, were Ned's favourite game. 
These never passed him uninjured ; and against such 
he directed his severest shafts. With these he com- 
monly amused himself, by exciting in them every va- 
riety of emotion, under circumstances peculiarly ridic- 
ulous. He was admirably fitted to his vocation. H> 


could assume any character which his humour required 
him to personate, and he could sustain it to perfection. 
His knowledge of the character of others seemed to he 

It may seem remarkable, but it is true, that, though 
he lived his own peculiar life for about sixteen years, 
after he reached the age of manhood he never involved 
himself in a personal rencounter with any one. This 
was owing, in part, to his muscular frame, which few 
would be willing to engage ; but more particularly to 
his adroitness in the management of his projects of fun. 
He generally conducted them in such a way as to ren- 
der it impossible for any one to call him to account 
without violating all the rules of decency, politeness 
and chivalry at once. But a few anecdotes of him 
will give the reader a much better idea of his charac 
ter than he can possibly derive from a general descrip- 
tion. If these fulfil the description which I have given 
of my hero, all will agree that he is no imaginary 
being : if they do not, it will only be because I am un- 
fortunate in my selection. Having known him from 
his earliest manhood to his grave — for he was a native 
Georgian — I confess that I am greatly perplexed in de- 
termining what portions of his singular history to lay 
before the reader as a proper specimen of the whole, 
A three day's visit, which I once made with him to 
Savannah, placed him in a greater variety of scenes, 
and among a greater diversity of characters, than per- 
haps any other period of his life, embracing no longer 
time ; and, therefore, I will choose this for my purpose. 

We reached Savannah just at nightfall of a cold De- 
cember's evening. As we approached the tavern of 
Mr. Blank, at which we designed to stop, Ned proposed 
to me that we should drop our acquaintance until he 
should choose to renew it. To this proposition I most 
cordially assented, for I knew that, so doing, I should 
be saved some mortifications, and avoid a thousand 
questions which I would not know how to answer. 
According to this understanding, Ned lingered behind, 
in order that I might reach the tavern alone. 


On alighting at the public house I was led into a 
large dining-room, at the entrance of which, to the 
right, stood the bar, opening into the dining-room. 
On the left, and rather nearer to the centre of the 
room, was a fireplace, surrounded by gentlemen. Upon 
entering the room, my name was demanded at the bar : 
it was given, and I took my seat in the circle around 
the fire. I had been seated just long enough for the 
company to survey me to their satisfaction and resume 
their conversation, when Ned's heavy footstep at the 
door turned the eyes of the company to the approach, 
ing stranger. 

" Your name, sir, if you please ?" said the restless 
little barkeeper, as he entered. 

Ned stared at the question with apparent alarm ; 
cast a fearful glance at the company ; frowned and 
.shook his head in token of caution to the barkeeper ; 
looked confused for a moment ; then, as if suddenly 
recollecting himself, jerked a piece of paper out of his 
pocket, turned from the company, wrote on it with 
his pencil, handed it to the barkeeper, walked to the 
left of the fireplace, and took the most conspicuous 
seat in the circle. He looked ajt no one, spoke to no 
one ; but, fixing his eyes on the fire^lapsed into a pro 
found revery. 

The conversation, which had been pretty general 
before, stopped as short as if every man in the room 
had been shot dead. Every eye was fixed on Ned, and 
every variety of expression was to be seen on the coun- 
tenances of the persons present. The landlord came 
in; the barkeeper whispered to him and looked at 
Ned. The landlord looked at him too with astonish, 
ment and alarm ; the barkeeper produced a piece of 
paper, and both of them examined it, as if searching 
for a fig-mite with the naked eye. They rose from 
the examination unsatisfied, and looked at Ned again. 
Those of the company who recovered first from their 
astonishment tried to revive the conversation ; but the 
effort was awkward, met with no support, and failed. 
The barkeeper, for the first time in his life, became 


dignified and solemn, and left the bar to take care of 
itself. The landlord had a world of foolish questions 
to ask the gentlemen directly opposite to Ned, for which 
purpose he passed round to them every two minutes, 
and the answer to none did he hear. 

Three or four boarders coming in, who were unap- 
prized of what had happened, at length revived the con- 
versation ; not, however, until they had created some 
confusion, by inquiring of their friends the cause of their 
sober looks. As soon as the conversation began to be- 
come easy and natural, Ned rose and walked out into 
the entry. With the first movement all were as hush 
as death ; but, when he had cleared the door, 'another 
Babel scene ensued. Some inquired, others suspected, 
and all wondered. Some were engaged in telling the 
strangers what had happened, others were making to- 
wards the bar, and all were becoming clamorous, when 
Ned returned and took his seat. His re-entry was as 
fatal to conversation as was the first movement of his 
exit ; but it soon recovered from the shock ; with the 
difference, however, that those who led before were 
now mute, and wholly absorbed in the contemplation 
of Ned's person. 

After retaining his seat for about ten minutes, Ned 
rose again, inquired the way to the stable, and left the 
house. As soon as he passed the outer door, the bar- 
keeper hastened to the company with Ned's paper in 
his hand. " Gentlemen," said he, " can any of you tell 
me what name this is ?" All rushed to the paper in 
an instant ; one or two pair of heads met over it with 
considerable force. After pondering over it to their 
heart's content, they all agreed that the first letter was 
an " E," and the second a " B" or an " R," and the d — 1 
himself could not make out the balance. While they 
were thus engaged, to the astonishment of everybody, 
Ned interrupted their deliberations with, " Gentlemen, 
if you have satisfied yourselves with that paper, I'll 
thank you for it." It is easy to imagine, but impossi. 
ble to describe, the looks and actions of the company 
under their surprise and mortification. They dropped 


off, and left the barkeeper to his appropriate duty of 
handing the paper to Ned. He reached it forth, but 
Ned moved not a hand to receive it for about the space 
of three seconds, during which time he kept his eyes 
fixed upon the arch offender in awfully solemn rebuke. 
He then took it gravely and put it in his pocket, and 
left the barkeeper with a shaking ague upon him. 
From this moment he became Ned's most obsequious 
and willing slave. 

Supper was announced ; Mrs. Blank, the landlady, 
look the head of the table, and Ned seated himself next 
to her. Her looks denoted some alarm at finding him 
so near to her, and plainly showed that he had been 
fully described to her by her husband or some one else. 

" Will you take tea or coffee, sir ?" said she. 

" Why, madam," said Ned, in a tone as courteous as 
Chesterfield himself could have used, " 1 am really 
ashamed to acknowledge and to expose my very singu- 
lar appetite ; but habitual indulgence of it has made it 
necessary to my comfort, if not to my health, that I 
should still favour it when I can. If you will pardon 
me, I will take both at the same time." 

This respectful reply (which, by-the-way, she alone 
was permitted to hear) had its natural effect. It v won 
for him her unqualified indulgence, raised doubts wheth- 
er he could be the suspicious character which had been 
described to her, and begat in her a desire to cultivate 
a farther acquaintance with him. She handed to him 
the two cups, and accompanied them with some re- 
marks, drawn from her own observation in the line of 
her business, calculated to reconcile him to his whim- 
sical appetite ; but she could extract from Ned nothing 
but monosyllables, and sometimes not even that much. 
Consequently, the good lady began very soon to re- 
lapse into her former feelings. 

Ned placed a cup on either side of him, and com- 
menced stirring both at the same time very deliberate- 
ly. This done, he sipped a little tea, and asked Mrs. 
B. for a drop more milk in it. Then he tasted hia 
coffee, and desired a little more sugar in it. Then he 


tasted his tea again, and requested a small lump more 
sugar in it. Lastly, he tasted his coffee, and desired 
a lew drops more milk in that. It was easy to dis- 
cover, that, before he got suited, the landlady had sol- 
emnly resolved never to offer any more encourage- 
ments to such an appetite. She waxed exceedingly 
petulant, and, having nothing else to scold, she scolded 
the servants, of course. 

Waffles were handed to Ned, and he took one : batter, 
cakes were handed, and he took one ; and so on of 
muffins, rolls, and corn bread. Having laid in these 
provisions, he turned into his plate, upon his waffle and 
batter-cake, some of the crumbs of the several kinds of 
bread which he had taken, in different proportions, and 
commenced mashing all together with his knife. Du- 
ring this operation the landlady frowned and pouted, 
the servants giggled, and the boarders were variously 

Having reduced his mess to the consistency of a hard 
poultice, he packed it all up to one side of his plate in 
the form of a terrapin, and smoothed it all* over nicely 
with his knife. Nearly opposite to Ned, but a little 
below him, sat a waspish little gentleman, who had been 
watching him with increasing torments from the first 
to the last movement of Ned's knife. His tortures 
were visible to blinder eyes than Ned's, and, doubtless, 
had been seen by him in their earliest paroxysms. 
This gentleman occupied a seat nearest to a dish of 
steak, and was in the act of muttering something about 
" brutes" to his next neighbour, when Ned beckoned 
a servant to him, and requested him " to ask that gen- 
tleman for a small bit of steak." The servant obeyed, 
and, planting Ned's plate directly between the gentle- 
man's and the steak-dish, delivered his message. The 
testy gentleman turned his head, and the first thing he 
saw was Ned's party-coloured terrapin right under his 
nose. He started as if he had been struck by a snap- 
ping-turtle ; reddened to scarlet ; looked at Ned (who 
appeared as innocent as a lamb) ; looked at the servant 
(who appeared as innocent as Ned) ; and then fell to 


work on the steak as if he were amputating all Ned's 
limbs at once. 

Ned now commenced his repast. He ate his meat 
and breads in the usual way, but he drank his liquids 
in all ways. First a sip of tea, then of coffee ; then 
two of the first and one of the last ; then three of the 
last and one of the first, and so on. 

His steak was soon consumed, and his plate was a 
second time returned to the mettlesome gentleman " for 
another very small bit of steak." The plate paid its 
second visit precisely as it had its first ; and, as soon 
as the fiery gentleman saw the half-demolished terra- 
pin again under his nose, he seized a fork, drove it 
into the largest slice of steak in the dish, dashed it into 
Ned's plate, rose from the table, and left the room, 
cursing Ned from the very inmost chamber of his soul. 
Every person at the table, except Ned, laughed outright 
at the little man's fury ; but Ned did not even smile ; 
nay, he looked for all the world as if he thought the 
laugh was at him. 

The boarders one after another retired, until Ned 
and the landlady were left alone at the table. 

" Will you have another cup of tea and coffee, sir ?" 
said she, by the way of convincing him that he ought 
to retire, seeing that he had finished his supper. 

" No, I thank you, madam," returned Ned. 

" Will you have a glass of milk, and a cup of tea or 
coffee, or all three together ?" 

" No, ma'am," said Ned. " I am not blind, madam," 
continued he, " to the effects which my unfortunate 
eccentricities have produced upon yourself and your 
company ; nor have I witnessed them without those 
feelings which they are well calculated to inspire in a 
man of ordinary sensibilities. I am aware, too, that I 
am prolonging and aggravating your uneasiness, by 
detaining you beyond the hour which demands your 
presence at the table ; but I could not permit you to 
retire without again bespeaking your indulgence of the 
strange, unnatural appetite which has just caused you 
so much astonishment and mortification. The story 


of its beginning might be interesting, and certainly 
would be instructing to you if you are a mother : but 
I am indisposed at this time to obtrude it upon your 
patience, and I presume you are still less disposed to 
hear it. My principal object, however, in claiming 
your attention for a moment at this time, is to assure 
you that, out of respect to your feelings, I will surren- 
der the enjoyment of my meals for the few days that I 
have to remain in Savannah, and conform to the cus- 
toms of your table. The sudden change of my habits 
will expose me to some inconvenience, and may, per- 
haps, affect my health ; but I will willingly incur these 
hazards rather than renew your mortification, or im. 
pose upon your family the trouble of giving me my 
meals at my room." 

The good lady, whose bitter feelings had given place 
to the kinder emotion of pity and benevolence before 
Ned had half concluded his apology (for it was delivered 
in a tone of the most melting eloquence), caught at this 
last hint, and insisted upon sending his meals to his 
room. Ned reluctantly consented, after extorting a 
pledge from her that she would assume the responsibil- 
ities of the trouble that he was about to give the family. 

" A.s to your boarders, madam," said Ned, in con- 
clusion? " I have no apology to make to them. I grant 
them the privilege of eating; what they please and as 
they pleast , and, so far as they are concerned, I shall 
exercise the same privileges, reckleso of their feelings 
or opinions ; and I shall take it as a sf agular favour if 
you will say nothing to them or to any one else which 
may lead them to the discovery that I axn acquainted 
with my own peculiarities. *-' 

The good lady promised obedience to his wishes, 
and Ned, requesting to ba conducted to his room, re- 

A group of gentlemen at the fireplace had sent many 
significant " hems" and smiles to Mrs. Blank during 
her tete-d-tete with Ned ; and as she approached them, 
on her way out of the room, they began to taunt her 
playfully upon the impression which she seemed to have 
made upon the rem rkable stranger. 


" Really," said one, " I thought the impression was 
on the other side." 

" And, in truth, so it was," said Mrs. B. At this 
moment her husband stepped in. 

" I'll tell you what it is, Mr. Blank," said one of the 
company, " you'd better keep a sharp look out on that 
stranger ; our landlady is wonderfully taken with him.' 

" I'll be bound," said Mr. B., " for my wife ; the less 
ike anybody else in the world he is, the better will she 
ike him." 

" Well, I assure you," said Mrs. B., " I never had 
my feelings so deeply interested in a stranger in my 
life. I'd give the world to know his history." 

" Why, then," rejoined the landlord, " I suppose h< 
has been quizzing us all this time." 

" No," said she, " he is incapable of quizzing. At 
that you have seen of him is unaffected, and perfectly 
natural to him." 

" Then, really," continued the husband, " he is a very 
interesting object, and I congratulate you upon getting 
so early into his confidence ; but, as I am not quite as 
much captivated with his unaffected graces as you 
seem to be, I shall take the liberty, in charity to the 
rest of my boarders, of requesting him, to-morrow, to 
seek other lodgings." 

" Oh," exclaimed Mrs. B., in the goodness of her 
heart, and with a countenance evincive of the deepest 
feeling, " I would not have you do such a thing for the 
world. He's only going to stay a few days." 

" How do you know ?" 

" He told me so, and do let's bear with him that 
ehort time. He sha'n't trouble you or the boarders 
any more." 

" Why, Sarah," said the landlord, "I do believe you 
are out of your senses !" 

" Gone case !" said one boarder. " Terrible affair !" 
said another. " Bewitching little fellow," said a third. 
" Come, Mrs. Blank, tell us all he said to you ! We 
young men wish to know how to please the ladies, so 
that we may get wives easily. I'm determined, the 


tsext party I go to, to make a soup of everything on 
tne waiters, and eat all at once. I shall then become 
irresistible to the ladies." 

" Get along with your nonsense," said Mrs. B., smi 
ling as she left the room. 

At 8 o'clock I retired to my zoom, which happened 
(probably from the circumstance of our reaching the 
hotel within a few minutes of each other) to be adjoin- 
ing Ned's. I had no sooner entered my room than 
Ned followed me, where we interchanged the particu- 
lars which make up the foregoing story. He now ex- 
pended freely the laughter which he had been collect, 
ing during the evening. He stated that his last inter- 
view with Mrs. Blank was the result of necessity ; that 
he found he had committed himself in making up and 
disposing of his odd supper ; for that he should have to 
eat in the same way during his whole stay in Savan- 
nah, unless he could manage to get his meals in pri- 
vate; and, though he was willing to do penance for 
one meal in order to purchase the amusement he had 
enjoyed, he had no idea of tormenting himself three 
or four days for the same purpose. To tell you the 
honest truth, said he, nothing but an appetite whetted 
by fasting and travelling could have borne me through 
the table scene. As it was, my stomach several times 
threatened to expose my tricks to the whole company, 
by downright open rebellion. I feel that I must make 
it some atonement for the liberty I have taken with it, 
and therefore propose that we go out and take an 
oyster supper before we retire tb rest. I assented : 
we set out, going separately until we reached the street. 

We were received by the oyster-vender in a small 
shop which fronted upon the street, and were conduct- 
ed through it to a back door, and thence, by a flight 
of steps, to a convenient room on the second floor ot 
an adjoining building. We had been seated about 
three minutes, when we heard footsteps on the stairs, 
and directly caught this sentence from the ascending 
stranger : " Aha, Monsieur Middletong ! you say you 
hab de bes oystar in ie cittee ? Vel, me shall soon see." 


The sentence was hardly uttered before the doo* 
opened, and in stepped a gay, smirky little Frenchman 
He made us a low bow, and, as soon as he rose fron? 
his obeisance, Ned rushed to him in transports of joy 
seized him by the hand, and, shaking it with friendship's 
warmest grasp, exclaimed, " How do you do, my ola 
friend ? I had no idea of meeting you here ; how do 
you do, Mr. Squeezelfanter ? how have you been this 
long time ?" 

"Sair," said the Frenchman, "me tank you ver 
much to lub me so hard ; but you mistake de gentle- 
man ; my name is not de Squeezilfaunter." 

" Come, come, John," continued Ned, "quit your old 
tricks before strangers. Mr. Hall, let me introduce 
you to my particular friend, John Squeezelfanter, from 

" Perhaps, sir," said I, not knowing well what to 
say or how to act in such an emergency, "perhaps 
you have mistaken the gentleman." 

" Begar, sair," said monsieur, " he is mistake ebery- 
ting at once. My name is not Zhaun ; me play no 
treek; me is not de gentlemen g fren' ; me did not come 
from Paree, but from Bordeaux ; and me did not sup- 
pose dare was a man in all France dat was name de 
Squeezilfaunter. " 

" If I am mistaken," said Ned, " I humbly ask your 
pardon ; but, really, you look so much like my old 
friend Jack, and talk so much like him, that I would 
have sworn you were he." 

" Vel, sair," said monsieur, looking at Ned as though 
he might be an acquaintance after all ; " vel, sair, dis 
time you tell my name right ; my name is Jacques* — 
Jacques Sancric." 

" There," proceeded Ned, " I knew it was impossi- 
ble I could be mistaken ; your whole family settled on 
Sandy Creek ; I knew your father and mother, your 
sister Patsy and Dilsy, your brother Ichabod, your 
aunt Bridget, your — " 

* This name in French is pronounced very nearly like " Jack" in 


" Oh, mon Dieu, mon Dieu !" exclaimed the French- 
man, no longer able to contain his surprise ; " dat is 
von 'Mericane familee. Dare vas not one French fam- 
ilee hab all dat name since dis vorl' vas make." 

" Now look at me, good Jack," said Ned, " and see 
if you don't recollect your old friend Obadiah Snoddle- 
burg. who used to play with you, when a boy, in Sandv 

" Vol, Monsieur Snotborg, me look at you ver' veil , 
and, begar, me neber see you in de creek, nor out de 
creek. 'Tis ver' surprise you not know one name 
from one creek.'''' 

" Oh, very well, sir, very well ; I forgot where I 
was; 1 understand you now, perfectly. You are not 
the first gentleman I have met with in Savannah who 
knew me well in the country and forgot me in town. 
I ask you pardon, sir, and hope you'll excuse mo." 

" Me is ver' will' to know you now, sair ; but, begar, 
me will not tell you one lie, to know you twenty-five 
and tirty years ago." 

" It makes no difference, sir," said Ned, looking 
thoughtfully and chagrined. " I beg leave, however, 
before we close our acquaintance, to correct one mis- 
\ake which I made. I said you were from Paris ; I 
believe, on reflection, I was wrong ; I think your sister 
Dilsy told me you were from Bordeaux." 

" Foutre, de sist' Dils ! Here, Monsieur Middle- 
tong ! My oystar ready ?" 

" Yes, sir." 

" Vel, if my oystar ready, you give dem to my fren* 
Monsieur Snotborg ; and ask him to be so good to carry 
dem to my sist' Dils, and my brodder Ichbod on Sand 5 
Creek." So saying, he vanished like lightning. 

The next morning, at breakfast, I occupied Ned's 
seat. Mrs. Blank had no sooner taken her place, than 
she ordered a servant to bring her a waiter, upon 
which she placed a cup of tea and another of coffee ; 
then ordering three plates, she placed them on it ; sent 
one servant for one kind of bread, and another for an- 
other, and so on through all the varieties that were o" 


the table, from which she made selections for plate No 
1. In the same way did she collect meats for plate 
No. 2 ; No. 3 she left blank. She had nearly com- 
pleted her operations, when her husband came to 
know why every servant was engaged, and no gentle, 
man helped to anything, when the oddly furnished 
waiter met his eye, and fully explained the wonder. 

" In God's name, Sarah," said he, " who are yov 
mixing up those messes for ?" 

" For that strange gentleman we were speaking of 
last night," was the reply. 

" Why doesn't he come to the table ?" 

" He was very anxious to come, but I would not lo 

" You would not let him ! Why not ?" 

" Because I did not wish to see a man of his delicaU 
sensibilities ridiculed and insulted at my table." 

" Delicate devilabilities ! Then why didn't you send 
a servant to collect his mixtures ?" 

" Because I preferred doing it myself to troubling 
the boarders. I knew that, wherever his plates went, 
the gentlemen would be making merry over them, and 
I couldn't bear to see it."' 

The landlord looked at her for a moment with com- 
mingled astonishment, doubt, and alarm ; and then, 
upon the breath of a deep drawn sigh, proceeded : 

" Well, d — n* the man ! He hasn't been in the 
house more than two hours, except when he was asleep, 
and he has insulted one half my boarders, made fools 
of the other half, turned the head of my barkeeper, 
crazed all my servants, and run my wife right stark, 
staring, raving mad ; a man who is a perfect clown in 
his manners, and who, I have no doubt, will, in thft 
end. prove to be a horse-thief." 

Much occurred between the landlord and his lady ir. 

* I should certainly omit such expressions as this, could I do s«. 
with historic fidelity ; but the peculiarities of the times of which \ 
am writing cannot be faithfully represented without them. In re 
cording things as they are, truth requires me sometimes to put pro 
fane language into the mouths of my characters. 




relation to Ned which we must, of necessity, omit. 
Suffice it to say, that her assiduities to Ned, her unex- 
plained sympathies for him, her often-repeated desires 
to become better acquainted with- him, conspiring with 
one or two short interviews which her husband saw 
between hen and Ned (and which consisted of nothing 
more than expressions of regret on his part at the 
trouble he was giving the family, and assurance on 
hers that it was no trouble at all), began to bring upon 
the landlord the husband's worst calamity. This she 
soon observed ; and, considering her duty to her hus- 
band as of paramount obligation, she gave him an ex- 
planation that was entirely satisfactory. She told him 
that Ned was a man of refined feelings and highly cul- 
tivated mind, but that, in his infancy, his mother had 
forced him to eat different kinds of diet together, until 
she had produced in him a vitiated and unconquerable 
appetite, which he was now constrained to indulge, as 
the drunkard does his, or be miserable. As the good 
man was prepared to believe any story of woman's fol- 
ly, he was satisfied. 

This being the Sabbath, at the usual hour Ned went 
to church, and selected for his morning service one of 
those churches in which the pews are free, and in 
which the hymn is given out, and sung by the congre- 
gation, a half recitative. 

Ned entered the church in as fast a walk as he could 
possibly assume ; proceeded about half down the aisle, 
and popped himself down in his seat as quick as if he 
had been shot. The more thoughtless of the congre 
gation began to titter, and the graver peeped up slyly, 
but solemnly at him. 

The pastor rose, and, before giving out the hymn, 
observed that singing was a part of the service in which 
ne thought the whole congregation ought to join. Thus 
saying, he gave out the first lines of the hymn. As 
soon as the tune was raised, Ned struck in, with one 
of the loudest, hoarsest, and most discordant voices 
that ever annoyed a solemn assembly. 

" I would observe," said the preacher, before giving 


out the next two lines, " that there are some persons 
who have not the gift of singing ; such, of course, are 
not expected to sing." Ned took the hint and sang no 
more ; but his entrance into church and his entrance 
into the hymn had already dispersed the solemnity of 
three fifths of the congregation. 

As soon as the pastor commenced his sermon, Ned 
opened his eyes, threw back his head, dropped his un- 
der jaw, and surrendered himself to the most intense 
interest. The preacher was an indifferent one ; and by 
as much as he became dull and insipid, by so much did 
Ned become absorbed in the discourse. And yet it 
was impossible for the nicest observer to detect any. 
thing in his looks or manner short of the most solemn 
devotion. The effect which his conduct had upon the 
congregation, and their subsequent remarks, must be 
left to the imagination of the reader. I give but one 
remark : " Bless that good man who came in the church 
so quick," said a venerable matron as she left the church 
door, "how he was affected by the garment.'' 1 

Ned went to church no more on that day. About 
four o'clock in the afternoon, while he was standing at 
the tavern door, a funeral procession passed by, at the 
foot of which, and singly, walked one of the smallest 
men I ever saw. As soon as he came opposite the 
door, Ned stepped out and joined him with great so- 
lemnity. The contrast between the two was ludicrous- 
ly striking, and the little man's looks and uneasinesaaF* 
plainly showed that he felt it. However, he soon be- 
came reconciled to it. They proceeded but a little 
way before Ned inquired of his companion who was 

" Mr. Noah Bills," said the little man. 

" Nan ?" said Ned, raising his hand to his ear in token 
of deafness, and bending his head to the speaker. 

"Mr. Noah Bills," repeated the little man, loua 
enough to disturb the two couple immediately before 

"Mrs. Noel's Bill!" said Ned, with mortification 
and astonishment. " Do the white persons pay such 



respect to niggers in Savannah ? Jsha'n't do it." So 
saying, he left the procession. 

The little man was at first considerably nettled ; but, 
upon being left to his own reflections, he got into an 
uncontrollable fit of laughter, as did the couple imme- 
diately in advance of him, who overheard Ned's re- 
mark. The procession now exhibited a most mortifying 
' spectacle : the head of it in mourning and in tears, and 
the foot of it convulsed with laughter. 

On Monday Ned employed himself in disposing of 
the business which brought him to Savannah, and I saw 
but little of him ; but I could not step into the street 
without hearing of him. All talked about him, and 
hardly any two agreed about his character. 

On Tuesday he visited the market, and set it all in 
astonishment or laughter. He wanted to buy something 
of everybody, and some of everything ; but could not 
agree upon the terms of a trade, because he always 
wanted his articles in such portions and numbers as no 
one would sell, or upon conditions to which no one 
wouid submit. To give a single example : he beset 
an old negro woman to sell him the half of a living 
^# f '" Do, my good mauma, sell it to me," said he ; " my 
wife is very sick, and is longing for chicken pie, and 
this is all the money I have" (holding out twelve and 
a half cents in silver), " and it's just what a half chicken 
comes to at your own price." 

" Ki, masssa ! how gwine cut live chicken in two ?" 

" I don't want you to cut it in two alive ; kill it, clean 
it, and then divide it." 

" Name o' God ! what sort o' chance got to clean 
chicken in de market-house ! Whay de water for scall 
urn and wash um 1" 

" Don't scald it at all ; just pick it, so." 

" Ech-ech ! Fedder fly all ober de buckera-man 
meat, he come bang me fo' true. No, massa, I mighty 
sorry for your wife, but I no cutty chicken open." 

In the afternoon Ned entered the dining-room of the 
tavern, and who should he find there but Monsieur San 


eric, of oyster-house memory. He and the tavern-, 
keeper were alone. With the first glimpse of'Ned, 
"La diable," exclaimed the Frenchman, "here my 
broder Ichbod 'gain !" and away he went. 

" Mr. Sancric !" said the landlord, calling to him as 
if to tell him something just thought of, and following 
him out, " what did you say that man's name is V 

" He name Monsieur Snotborg." 

" Why, that can't be his name, for it begins with a 
B. or an R. Where is he from ?" 

"From Sand Creek." 

" Where did you know him ?" 

" Begar, me neber did know him." Here Ned saun- 
tered in sight of the Frenchman, and he vanished. 

" Well," said the landlord, as he returned, ™ it does 
seem to me that everybody who has anything to do 
with that man runs crazy forthwith." 

When he entered the dining-room he found Ned 
deeply engaged reading a child's primer, with which 
he seemed wonderfully delighted. The landlord sat 
for a moment, smiled, and then hastily left the room. 
As soon as he disappeared, Ned laid down his book, 
and took his station behind some cloaks in the bar, 
which at the moment was deserted. He had just 
reached his place when the landlord returned with his 

" Oh," said the first, " he's gone ! I brought you in 
to show you what kind of books your man of ' refined 
feelings and highly cultivated mind' delights in. But 
he has left his book, and here it is, opened at the place 
where he left off; and do.let's see what's in it ?" 

They examined, and found that he had been reading 
the interesting poem of" Littlp Jack Horner." 

" Now," continued the landlord, " if you'll believe 
me, he was just as much delighted with that story, as 
you or I would be with the best written number of the 

" Well, it's very strange," said Mrs. Blank ; " I 
reckon he must be flighty, for no man could have made 
a more gentlemanly apology than he did to me for hia 


peculiarities, and no one could have urged it more 

" One thing is very certain," said the husband ; " if 
he be not flighty himself, he has a wonderful knack of 
making everybody else so. Sancric ran away from 
him just now as if he had seen the devil ; called him 
by one name when he left the room, by another at the 
door, told me where he came from, and finally swore 
he did not know him at all." 

Ned having slipped softly from the bar into the entry 
during this interview, entered the dining-room as if 
from the street. 

" I am happy," said he, smiling, " to meet you to- 
gether and alone, upon the eve of my departure from 
Savannah, that I may explain to you my singular con- 
duct, and ask your forgiveness of it. I will do so if you 
will not expose my true character until I shall have left 
the city." 

This they promised. "My name, then," continued 
he, "is Edwa rd Brace, of Richmond county. .Hu- 
mour has been my^esetdng^sin from my youth up. 
It lias sunk me far below the station to which my na- 
tive gifts entitled me. It has robbed me of the respect 
of all my acquaintances ; and, what is much more to 
be regretted, the esteem of some of my best and most 
indulgent friends. All this I have long known ; and I 
have a thousand times deplored, and as often resolved 
to conquer, my self-destroying propensity. But so 
deeply is it wrought into my very nature, so completely 
and indissolubly interwoven is it with every fibre and 
filament of my being, that I have found it impossible 
for me to subdue it. Being on my first visit to Savan- 
nah, unknowing and unknown, I could not forego the 
opportunity which it furnished of gratifying my ungov- 
ernable proclivity. All the extravagances which you 
have seen have been in subservience to it." 

He then explained the cause of his troubling the 

kind lady before him to give him his meals at his 

room, and the strange conduct of Mousieur Sancric ; 

at which they both lausrhed heartilv. He referred them 



to me for confirmation of what he had told them. Hav- 
ing gone thus far, continued he, " I must sustain my 
character until to-morrow, when I shall leave Savan- 

Having now two more to enjoy his humour with him 
and myself, he let himself loose that night among the 
boarders with all his strength, and never did I see two 
mortals laugh as did Mr. and Mrs. Blank. 

Far as I have extended this sketch, I cannot close 
without exhibiting Ned in one new scene, in which ac- 
cident placed him before he left Savannah. 

About 2 o'clock on the morning of our departure, 
the town was alarmed by the cry of fire. Ned got up 
before me, and taking one of my boots from the door, 
and putting one of his in its place, he marched down 
to the front door with odd boots. On coming out and 
finding what had been done, I knew that Ned could not 
have left the house, for it was impossible for him to 
wear my boot. I was about descending the stairs, 
when he called to me from the front door, and said the 
servant had mixed our boots, and that he had brought 
down one of mine. When I reached the front door, 
I found Ned and Mr. and Mrs. Blank there ; all the 
inmates of the house having left it, who designed to 
leave it, but Ned and myself. 

" Don't go and leave me, Hall," said he, holding my 
boot in his hand, and having his own on his leg. 

" How can I leave you," said I, " unless you'll give 
me my boot ?" This he did not seem to hear. 

"Do run, gentlemen," said Mrs. Blank, greatly 
alarmed ; " Mr. Brace, you've got Mr. Hall's boot ; 
give it to him." 

" In a minute, madam," said he, seeming to be beside 
himself. A second after, however, all was explained 
to me. He designed to have my company to the fire ; 
and his own fun before he went. 

A man came posting along in g-seat alarm, and cry- 
ing " fire" loudly. 

" Mister, mister," said Ned, jumping out of the house. 

" Sir." said the man, stopping and puffing awfully. 


" Have you seen Mr. Peleg Q. C. Stone along where 
you've been V inquired Ned, with anxious solicitude. 

" D — n Mr. Peleg Q. C. Stone," said the stranger. 
" What chance have I of seeing anybody, hopping up 
at two o'clock in the morning, and the town a fire I'" 1 
and on he went. 

Thus did he amuse himself, with various questions 
and remarks to four or five passengers, until even Mrs. 
Blank forgot for a while that the town was in flames. 
The last object of his sport was a woman, who came 
along exclaiming, " Oh, it's Mr. Dalby's house ; I'm 
sure it is Mr. Dalby's house !" Two gentlemen assu- 
red her that the fire was far beyond Mr. Dalby's house ; 
but still she went on with her exclamations. When 
she had passed the door about ten steps, Ned permitted 
me to cover my frozen foot with my boot, and we moved 
on towards the fire. We soon overtook the woman 
just mentioned, who had become somewhat pacified. 
As Ned came alongside of her, without seeming to no- 
tice her, he observed, " Poor Dalby, I see his house is 

"I said so," she screamed out ; " I knew it!" and 
on she went, screaming ten times louder than before. 

As soon as we reached the fire, a gentleman in mil- 
itary dress rode up and ordered Ned into the line to 
hand buckets. Ned stepped in, and the first bucket 
that was handed to him, he raised it very deliberately 
to his mouth and began to drink. In a few seconds, 
all on Ned's right were overburdened with buckets, 
and calling loudly for relief, while those on his left were 
unemployed. Terrible was the cursing and clamour, 
and twenty voices at once ordered Ned out of the line. 
Ned stepped out," and along came the man on horseback, 
and ordered him in again. 

" Captain," said Ned, " I am so thirsty that I can do 
nothing until I get some water, and they will not let me 
drink in the line." 

" Well," said the captain, " step in, and I'll see that 
you get a drink." 

Ned stepped in again, and receiving the first bucket, 


began to raise it to his lips very slowly, when some 
one hallooed to him to pass on the bucket, and he 
brought it down again and handed it on. 

" Why didn't you drink '?" said the captain. 

"Why, don't you see they won't let me?" said Ned. 

" Don't mind what they say ; drink, and then go on 
with your work." 

Ned took the next bucket, and commenced raising 
it as before, when some one again ordered him to pass 
on the bucket. 

" There," said Ned, turning to the captain, with the 
tucket half raised, " you hear that ?" 

" Why, blast your eyes," said the captain, "what : 
do you stop for? Drink on and have done with it." 

Ned raised the bucket to his lips and drank, or pre- 
tended to drink, until a horse might have been satisfied. 

" Ain't you done ?" said the captain, general mutiny 
and complaint beginning to prevail in the line. 

" Why, ha'n't you drank enough ?" said the captain, 
becoming extremely impatient. 

" Most," said Ned, letting out a long breath, and still 
holding the bucket near his lips. 

" Zounds and blood !" cried the captain, " clear your- 
self; you'll drink an engineful of water." 

Ned left the ranks and went to his lodgings ; and 
the rising sun found us on our way homeward. 




In the younger days of the Republic there lived in 

the county of two men, who were admitted on all 

hands to be the very lest men in the county ; which, in 
the Georgia vocabulary, means they could flog any 
other two men in the county. Each, through many a 
hard-fought battle, had acquired the mastery of his own 
battalion ; but they lived on opposite sides of the Court- 
house, and in different battalions : consequently, they 
were but seldom thrown together. When they met, 
however, they were always very friendly ; indeed, at 
their first interview, they seemed to conceive a won- 
derful attachment to each other, which rather increased 
than diminished as they became better acquainted ; so 
that, but for the circumstance which I am about to 
mention, the question, which had been a thousand times 
asked, " Which is the best man, Billy Stallions (Stall- 
ings) or Bah_Qurham ?" would probably never have 
been answered. 

Billy ruled the upper battalion, and Bob the lower. 
The former measured six feet and an inch in his stock- 
ings, and, without a single pound of cumbrous flesh 
about him, weighed a hundred and eighty. The latter 
was an inch shorter than his rival, and ten pounds 
lighter ; but he was much the most active of the two. 
In running and jumping he had but few equals in the 
county ; and in wrestling, not one. In other respects 
they were nearly equal. Both were admirable speci- 
mens of human nature in its finest form. Billy's vic- 
tories had generally been achieved by the tremendous 
power of his blows, one of which had often proved de- 
cisive of his battles ; Bob's, by his adroitness in bring- 
ing his adversary to the ground. This advantage he 
had never failed to gain at the onset, and, when gain 
E 2 


ed, he never failed to improve it to the defeat of hia 
adversary. These points of difference have involved 
the reader in a doubt as to the probable issue of a con- 
test between them. It was not so, however, with the 
two battalions. Neither had the least difficulty in de- 
termining the point by the most natural and irresistible 
deductions d priori; and though, by the same course 
of reasoning, they arrived at directly opposite conclu- 
sions, neither felt its confidence in the least shaken by 
this circumstance. The upper battalion swore " that 
Billy only wanted one lick at him to knock his heart, 
liver, and lights out of him ; and if he got two at him, 
he'd knock him into a cocked hat." The lower battal- 
ion retorted, " that he wouldn't have time to double his 
fist before Bob would put his head where his feet ought 
to be ; and that, by the time he hit the ground, the 
meat would fly off his face so quick, that people would 
think it was shook off by the fall." These disputes 
often led to the argumentum ad hominem, but with such 
equality of success on both sides as to leave the main 
question just where they found it. They usually end- 
ed, however, in the common way, with a bet ; and 
many a quart of old Jamaica (whiskey had not then 
supplanted rum) were staked upon the issue. Still, 
greatly to the annoyance of the curious, Billy and Bob 
continued to be good friends. 

Now there happened to reside in the county just al- 
luded to a little fellow by the name of Ransy Sniffle : 
a sprout of Richmond, who, in his earlier days, had fed 
copiously upon red clay and blackberries. This diet 
had g/ven to Ransy a complexion that a corpse would 
have disdained to own, and an abdominal rotundity 
that was quite unprepossessing. Long spells of the 
fever and ague, too, in Ransy's youth, had conspired 
with clay and blackberries to throw him quite out of 
the order of nature. His shoulders were fleshless and 
elevated ; his head large and flat ; his neck slim and 
translucent ; and his arms, hands, fingers, and feet 
were lengthened out of all proportion to the rest of his 
frame. His joints were large and his limbs small ; and 



as for flesh, he could not, with propriety, be said to 
have any. Those parts which nature usually supplies 
with the most of this article — the calves of the legs, 
for example — presented in him the appearance of so 
many well-drawn blisters. His height was just five 
feet nothing ; and his average weight in blackberry 
season, ninety-five. I have been thus particular in 
describing him, for the purpose of showing what a great 
matter a little fire sometimes kindleth. There was 
nothing on this earth which delighted Ransy so much 
as a fight. He never seemed fairly alive except when 
he was witnessing, fomenting, or talking about a fight. 
Then, indeed, his deep-sunken gray eye assumed some- 
thing of a living fire, and his tongue acquired a volu- 
bility that bordered upon eloquence. Ransy had been 
kept for more than a year in the most torturing sus- 
pense as to the comparative manhood of Billy Stallings 
and Bob Durham. He had resorted to all his usual 
expedients to bring them in collision, and had entirely 
failed. He had faithfully reported to Bob all that had 
been said by the people in the upper battalion •'•' agin 
him," and " he was sure Billy Stallings started it. He 
heard Billy say himself to Jim Brown, that he could 
whip him, or any other man in his battalion ;" and this 
he told to Bob ; adding, " Dod darn his soul, if he was 
a little bigger, if he'd let any man put upon his battal- 
ion in such a way." Bob replied, " If he (Stallings) 
thought so, he'd better come and try it." This Ransy 
carried to Billy, and delivered it with a spirit becoming 
his own dignity and the character of his battalion, and 
with a colouring well calculated to give it effect. These, 
and many other schemes which Ransy laid for tho 
gratification of his curiosity, entirely failed of their ob- 
ject. Billy and Bob continued friends, and Ransy had 
began to lapse into the most tantalizing and hopeless 
despair, when a circumstance occurred which led to a 
settlement of the long-disputed question. 

It is said that a hundred gamecocks will live in per- 
fect harmony together if you do not put a hen with 
them ; and so it would have butn with Billy and Bob, 


had there been no women in the world. But there 
were women in the world, and from them each of our 
heroes had taken to himself a wife. The good ladies 
were no strangers to the prowess of their husbands, 
and, strange as it may seem, they presumed a little 
upon it. 

The two battalions had met at the Courthouse upon 
a regimental parade. The two champions were there, 
and their wives had accompanied them. Neither knew 
the other's lady, nor were the ladies known to each 
other. The exercises of the day were just over, when 
Mrs. Stallings and Mrs. Durham stepped simultaneous- 
ly into the store of Zephaniah Atwater, from " down 

" Have you any Turkey-red ?" said Mrs. S. 

" Have you any curtain calico ?" said Mrs. D. at the 
same moment. 

"Yes, ladies," said Mr. Atwater, "I have both." 

"Then help me first," said Mrs. D., "for I'm in a 

" I'm in as great a hurry as she is," said Mrs. S., 
"and I'll thank you to help me first." 

" And, pray, who are you, madam ?" continued the 

" Your betters, madam," was the reply. 

At this moment Billy Stallings stepped in. "Come," 
said he, " Nancy, let's be going ; it's getting late." 

" I'd a been gone half an hour ago," she replied, "if 
it hadn't a' been for that impudent huzzy." 

" Who do you call an impudent huzzy, you nasty, 
good-for-nothing, snaggle-toothed gaub of fat, you ?" re- 
turned Mrs. D. 

" Look here, woman," said Billy, " have you got a 
husband here ? If you have, I'll lick him till he learns 
to teach you better manners, you sassy heifer you." 
At this moment something was seen to rush out of the 
store as if ten thousand hornets were stinging it ; cry- 
ing, " Take care — let me go — don't hold me — where's 
Bob Durham ?" It was Ransy Sniffle, who had been 
listening in breathless delight to all that had passed. 


"Yonder's Bob, setting on the Courthouse steps," 
cried one. " What's the matter V 

" Don't talk to me !" said Ransy. " Bob Durham, 
you'd better go long yonder, and take care of your 
wife. They're playing h — 1 with her there, in Zeph 
Atwater's store. Dod etarnally darn my soul, if any 
man was to talk to my wife as Bill Stallions is talking 
to yours, if I wouldn't drive blue blazes through him 
in less than no time." 

Bob sprang to the store in a minute, followed by a 
hundred friends ; for the bully of a county never wants 

" Bill Stallions," said Bob, as he entered, " what have 
you been saying to my wife ?" 

" Is that your wife ?" inquired Billy, obviously much 
surprised and a little disconcerted. 

"Yes, she is, and no man shall abuse -fier, I don't 
care who he is." 

" Well," rejoined Billy, " it an't worth while to go 
ewer it ; I've said enough for a fight : and, if you'll 
step out, we'll settle it !" 

" Billy," said Bob, " are you for a fair fight ?" 

" I am," said Billy. " I've heard much of your man. 
hood, and I believe I'm a better man than you are. If 
you will go into a ring with me, we can soon settle 
the dispute." 

" Choose your friends," said Bob ; " make your ring, 
and I'll be in with mine as soon as you will." 

They both stepped out, and began to strip very de- 
liberately, each battalion gathering round its champion, 
except Ransy, who kept himself busy in a most honest 
endeavour to hear and see all that transpired in both 
groups at the same time. He ran from one to the other 
in quick succession ; peeped here and listened there ; 
talked to this one, then to that one, and then to him- 
self; squatted under one's legs and another's arms 
and, in the short interval between stripping and step- 
ping into the ring, managed to get himself trod on by 
half of both battalions. But Ransy was not the only 
one interested upon this occasion ; the most intense 


interest prevailed everywhere. Many were the con- 
jectures, doubts, oaths, and imprecations uttered while 
the parties were preparing for the comjat. All the 
knowing ones were consulted as to the issue, and they 
all agreed, to a man, in one of two opinions : either 
that Bob would flog Billy, or Billy would flog Bob. 
We must be permitted, however, to dwell for a mo- 
ment upon the opinion of Squire Thomas Loggins ; a 
man who, it was said, had never failed to predict the 
issue of a fight in all his life. Indeed, so unerring had 
he always proved in this regard, that it would have 
been counted the most obstinate infidelity to doubt for 
a moment after he had delivered himself. Squire 
Loggins was a man who said but little, but that little 
was always delivered with the most imposing solemnity 
of look and cadence. He always wore the aspect of 
profound thought, and you could not look at him with- 
out coming to the conclusion that he was elaborating 
truth from its most intricate combinations. 

" Uncle Tommy," said Sam Reynolds, " you can tell 
us all about it if you will ; how will the fight go ?" 

The question immediately drew an anxious group 
around the squire. He raised his teeth slowly from 
the head of his walking cane, on which they had been 
resting ; pressed his lips closely and thoughtfully to- 
gether ; threw down his eyebrows, dropped his chin, 
raised his eyes to an angle of twenty-three degrees, 
paused about half a minute, and replied, " Sammy, 
watch Robert Durham close in the beginning of the 
fight ; take care of William Stallions in the middle of 
it ; and see who has the wind at the end." As he ut- 
tered the last member of the sentence, he looked slyly 
at Bob's friends, and winked very significantly ; where- 
upon they rushed, with one accord, to tell Bob what 
Uncle Tommy had said. As they retired, the squire 
turned to Billy's friends, and said, with a smile, " Them 
boys think I mean that Bob will whip." 

Here the other party kindled into joy, and hastened 
to inform Billy how Bob's friends had deceived them- 
selves as to Uncle Tommy's opinion. In the mean time 


die principals and seconds were busily employed in pre- 
paring themselves for the combat. The plan of attack 
and defence, the manner of improving the various turns 
of the conflict, " the best mode of saving wind," &c, 
&c, were all discussed and settled. At length Billy 
•announced himself ready, and his crowd were seen 
moving to the centre of the Courthouse Square ; he and 
his five seconds in the rear. At the same time, Bob's 
party moved to the same point, and in the same order. 
The ring was now formed, and for a moment the silence 
of death reigned through both battalions. It was soon 
interrupted, however, by the cry of " Clear the way !" 
from Billy's seconds ; when the ring opened in the cen- 
tre of the upper battalion (for the order of march had 
arranged the centre of the two battalions on opposite 
sides of the circle), and Billy stepped into the ring from 
the east, followed by his friends. He was stripped to 
the trousers, and exhibited an arm, breast, and shoul- 
ders of the most tremendous portent. His step was 
firm, daring, and martial ; and as he bore his fine form 
a little in advance of his friends, an involuntary burst 
of triumph broke from his side of the ring ; and, at the 
same moment, an uncontrollable thrill of awe ran along 
the whole curve of the lower battalion. 

"Look at him!" was heard from his friends; "just 
look at him." 

" Ben, how much you ask to stand before that man 
two seconds ?" 

" Pshaw, don't talk about it ! Just thinkin' about 
it 's broke three o' my ribs a'ready !" 

" What's Bob Durham going to do when Billy let's 
that arm loose upon him ?" 

" God bless your soul, he'll think thunder and light- 
ning a mint julip to it." 

" Oh, look here, men, go take Bill Stallions out o' that 
ring, and bring in Phil Johnson's stud horse, so that 
Durham may have some chance ! I don't want to see 
the man killed right away." 

These and many other like expressions, interspersed 
thickly with oaths of the most modern coinage, were 


coming from all points of the upper battalion, while Bob 
was adjusting the girth of his pantaloons, which walk- 
ing had discovered not to be exactly right. It was just 
fixed to his mind, his foes becoming a little noisy, and 
his friends a little uneasy at his delay, when Billy called 
out, with a smile of some meaning, " Where's the bully 
of the lower battalion 1 I'm getting tired of waiting." 

" Here he is," said Bob, lighting, as it seemed, from 
the clouds into the ring, for he had actually bounded 
clear of the head of Ransy Sniffle into the circle. His 
descent was quite as imposing as Billy's entry, and ex- 
cited the same feelings, but in opposite bosoms. 

Voices of exultation now rose on his side. 

" "Where did he come from ?" 

" Why," said one of his seconds (all having just en- 
tered), " we were girting him up, about a hundred 
yards out yonder, when he heard Billy ask for the bul- 
ly ; and he fetched a leap over the Courthouse, and went 
out of sight ; but I told them to come on, they'd find 
him here." 

Here the lower battalion burst into a peal of laugh- 
ter, mingled with a look of admiration, which seemed 
to denote their entire belief of what they had heard. 

" Boys, widen the ring, so as to give him room to 

" Oh, my little flying wild-cat, hold him if you can 1 
and, when you get him fast, hold lightning next." 

" Ned, what do you think he's made of?" 

" Steel springs and chicken-hawk, God bless you !" 

" Gentlemen," said one of Bob's seconds, " I under- 
stand it is to be a fair fight ; catch as catch can, rough 
and tumble : no man touch till one or the other hal- 

" That's the rule," was the reply from the other side. 

" Are you ready ?" 

" We are ready." 

" Then blaze away, my game cocks !" 

At the word, Bob dashed at his antagonist at full 
speed ; and Bill squared himself to receive him with 
one of his most fatal blows. Making his calculation, 


from Bob's velocity, of the time when he would come 
within striking distance, he let drive with tremendous 
force. But Bob's onset was obviously planned to avoid 
this blow ; for, contrary to all expectations, he stopped 
short just out of arm's reach, and, before Billy could 
recover his balance, Bob had him " all under-hold." 
The next second, sure enough. " found Billy's head 
where his feet ought to be." How it was done no one 
could tell ; but, as if by supernatural power, both 
Billy's feet were thrown full half his own height in the 
air, and he came down with a force that seemed to 
shake the earth. As he struck the ground, commingled 
shouts, screams, and yells burst from the lower battal- 
ion, loud enough to be heard for miles. " Hurra, my 
little hornet !" " Save him !" " Feed him !" " Give 
him the Durham physic till his stomach turns !" Billy 
was no sooner down than Bob was on him, and lending 
him awful blows about the face and breast. Billy made 
two efforts to rise by main strength, but failed. "Lord 
bless you, man, don't try to get up ! Lay still and take 
it ! you bleege to have it !" 

Billy now turned his face suddenly to the ground, and 
rose upon his hands and knees. Bob jerked up both 
his hands and threw him on his face. He again re- 
covered his late position, of which Bob endeavoured to 
deprive him as before ; but, missing one arm, he failed, 
and Billy rose. But he had scarcely resumed his feet 
before they flew up as before, and he came again to 
the ground. "No fight, gentlemen!" cried Bob's 
friends ; " the man can't stand up ! Bouncing feet are 
bad things to fight in. " His fall, however, was this time 
comparatively light ; for, having thrown his right arm 
round Bob's neck, he carried his head down with him. 
This grasp, which was obstinately maintained, prevent- 
ed Bob from getting on him, and they lay head to head, 
seeming, for a time, to do nothing. Presently they 
rose, as if by mutual consent.; and, as they rose, a 
shout burst from both battalions. " Oh, my lark !" 
cried the east, "has he foxed you 7 Do you begin to 


feel him ! He's only beginning to fight ; he ain't got 
warm yet." 

" Look yonder !" cried the west ; " didn't I tell you 
so ! He hit the ground so hard it jarred his nose off". 
Now ain't he a pretty man as he stands ? He shall 
have my sister Sal just for his pretty looks. I want to 
get in the breed of them sort o' men, to drive ugly out 
of my kinfolks." 

I looked, and saw that Bob had entirely lost his left 
ear, and a large piece from his left cheek. His right 
eye was a little discoloured, and the blood flowed pro- 
fusely from his wounds. 

Bill presented a hideous spectacle. About a third of 
his nose, at the lower extremity, was bit off", and his 
face so swelled and bruised that it was difficult to dis- 
cover in it anything of the human visage, much more 
the fine features which he carried into the ring. 

They were up only long enough for me to make the 
foregoing discoveries, when down they went again, pre- 
cisely as before. They no sooner touched the ground 
than Bill relinquished his hold upon Bob's neck. In 
this he seemed to all to have forfeited the only advan- 
tage which put him upon an equality with his adversary. 
But the movement was soon explained. Bill wanted 
this arm for other purposes than defence ; and he had 
made arrangements whereby he knew that he could 
make it answer these purposes ; for, when they rose 
again, he had the middle fmger of Bob's left hand in 
his mouth. He was now secure from Bob's annoying 
trips ; and he began to lend his adversary tremendous 
dIows, every one of which was hailed by a shout from 
nis friends. "Bullets!" "floss-kicking !" "Thunder!" 
" That'll do for his face ; now feel his short ribs, Billy !" 

I now considered the contest settled. I deemed it 
impossible for any human being to withstand for five 
seconds the loss of blood which issued from Bob's ear 
cheek, nose, and finger, accompanied with such blows 
as he was receiving. Still he maintained the conflict, 
and gave blow for blow with considerable effect. But 
the blows of each became slower and weaker after the 


first three or four ; and it became obvious that Bill 
wanted the room which Bob's finger occupied for breath- 
ing. He would therefore, probably, in a short time, 
have let it go, had not Bob anticipated his politeness by 
jerking away his hand, and making him a present of 
the finger. He now seized Bill again, and brought him 
to his knees, but he recovered. He again brought him 
to his knees, and he again recovered. A third effort, 
however, brought him down, and Bob on top of him. 
These efforts seemed to exhaust the little remaining 
strength of both ; and they lay, Bill undermost and Bob 
across his breast, motionless, and panting for breath. 
After a short pause, Bob gathered his hand full of dirt 
and sand, and was in the act of grinding it in his ad- 
versary's eyes, when Bill cried " Enough !" Language 
cannot describe the scene that followed ; the shouts, 
oaths, frantic gestures, taunts, replies, and little fights, 
and therefore I shall not attempt it. The champions 
were borne off by their seconds and washed ; when 
many a bleeding wound and ugly bruise was discovered 
on each which no eye had seen before. 

Many had gathered round Bob, and were in various 
ways congratulating and applauding him, when a voice 
from the centre of the circle cried out, " Boys, hush 
and listen to me !" It proceeded from Squire Loggins, 
who had made his way to Bob's side, and had gathered 
his face up into one of its most flattering and intelligible 
expressions. All were obedient to the squire's com- 
mand. " Gentlemen," continued he, with a most know- 
ing smile, " is — Sammy — Reynold — in — this — compa- 
ny — of — gentlemen ?" 

"Yes," said Sam, "here I am." 

" Sammy," said the squire, winking to the company, 
and drawing the head of his cane to his mouth with an 
arch smile as he closed, " I — wish — you — to tell — cous- 
in — Bobby — and — these — gentlemen here present — 
what — your — Uncle — Tommy — said — before — the— 
fight — began ?" 

" Oh ! get away, Uncle Tom," said Sam, smiling 
(the squire winked), " you don't know nothing about 


fighting." (The squire winked again.) '' All you 
know about it is ho.w it'll begin, how it'll go on, how 
it'll end ; that's all. Cousin Bob, when you going to 
fight again, just go to the old man, and let him tell you 
all about it. If he can't, don't ask nobody el ^e nothing 
about it, I tell you." 

The squire's foresight was complimented in many 
ways by the by-standers ; and he retired, advising " the 
boys to be at peace, as fighting was a bad business." 

Durham and Stallings kept their beds for several 
weeks, and did not meet again for two months. When 
they met, Billy stepped up to Bob and offered his hand, 
saying, " Bobby, you've licked me a fair fight ; but you 
wouldn't have done it if I hadn't been in the wrong. I 
oughn't to have treated your wife as I did ; and I felt 
so through the whole fight ; and it sort o' cowed me." 

" Well, Biily," said Bob, "let's be friends. Once in 
the fight, when you had my finger in your mouth, and 
was pealing me in the face and breast, I was going to hal- 
loo ; but I thought of Betsy, and knew the house would 
be too hot for me if I got whipped when fighting for 
her, after always whipping when I fought for myself." 

"Now that's what I always love to see," said a by- 
stander. " It's true I brought about the fight, but I 
wouldn't have done it if it hadn't o' been on account 
of Miss (Mrs.) Durham. But dod etarnally darn my 
soul, if I ever could stand by and see any woman put 
upon, much less Miss Durham. If Bobby hadn't been 
there, I'd o' took it up myself, be darned if I wouldn't, 
even if I'd o' got whipped for it. But we're all friends 
now." The reader need hardly be told that this was 
Ransy Sniffle. 

Thanks to the Christian religion, to schools, colleges, 
and benevolent associations, such scenes of barbarism 
and cruelty as that which I have been just describing 
are now of rare occurrence, though they may still be 
occasionally met with in some of the new Counties. 
Wherever they prevail, they are a disgrace to that 
community. The peace-officers who countenance them 
deserve a place in the Penitentiary. 




It is not to avoid the malediction of Shakspeare upon 
such " as have not music in themselves, and are not 
charmed with the concord of sweet sounds," that I pro- 
fess to be fond of music ; but because I am, in truth, 
extravagantly fond of it. But I am not fond of French 
music ; and as for the Italian, I think that any one who 
will dare to inflict it upon an American ear, ought to be 
sent to the Penitentiary without a trial. It is true that 
some of the simple, national French airs are very fine ; 
but there is not one in a thousand Italian tunes, simple 
or compound, which is not manslaughter. The German 
compositions are decidedly the best from the Continent 
of Europe; but even these are, of late, partaking so 
much of the vices of France and Italy, that they have 
become scarcely sufferable. As yet, however, they 
may be safely admitted into a land of liberty and sense. 
Scotland has escaped the corruptions which have crept 
into the empire of music, and, consequently, her music 
recommends itself, with irresistible charms, to every 
ear which is not vitiated by the senseless rattle of the 
Continent. Ireland is a little more contaminated ; but 
still her compositions retain enough of their primi- 
tive simplicity and sweetness to entitle them to the 
patronage of all who would cultivate a correct taste in 
this interesting department of the fine arts. I would 
not be understood as speaking here without any limit- 
ations or restrictions ; but I do maintain, that, with 
some few exceptions, all of the soul of music which is 
now left in the world is to be found in Scotland or 

But Germans, Frenchmen, and Italians are decidedly 
the best, that is, the most expert performers in the world 
They perform all over the world, and, in order to ex 


hibit themselves to the best advantage, they select the 
most difficult and complicated pieces. The people at 
large presume that the best performers must be The 
best judges of music, and must make the best selec- 
tions ; they therefore forego the trouble of forming an 
opinion of their own, and pin their faith upon the de- 
cisions, or, rather, the practice of the amateurs. It 
was somehow in this way, I presume, that the fashion, 
able music of the day first obtained currency. Hav- 
ing become prevalent, it has become tolerable ; just as 
has the use of tobacco or ardent spirits. And, while 
upon this head, I would earnestly recommend to the 
friends of reform in our favoured country to establish 
an " Anti-mad-music Society," in ordef to suppress, if 
possible, the cruelties of our modern musical entertain' 

If the instrumental music of France and Italy be 
bad, their vocal music is, if possible, a thousand times 
worse. Neither the English nor the Georgia language 
furnishes me with a term expressive of the horrors of 
a French or Italian song, as it is agonized forth by one 
of their professed singers. The law should make it 
justifiable homicide in any man to kill an Italian in the 
very act of inflicting an il penseroso upon a refined 
American ear. 

And yet, with all the other European abominations 
which have crept into our highly-favoured country, the 
French and Italian style of singing and playing has 
made its way hither ; and it is not uncommon to hear 
our boarding-school misses piping away, not merely in 
the style, but in the very language of these nations. 
This I can bear very well if there happen to be a 
Frenchman or an Italian present, because I know that 
he suffers more from the words than I do from the music ; 
for I confess that upon such occasions I feel something 
of the savage malignity which visits the sins of a nation 
upon any of its citizens. But it most frequently hap- 
pens that I am put to the tortures of which I have been 
speaking without this mitigation. It was thus with 
me a few evenings ago, at Mrs. B 's party. 


Tea had been disposed of, and the nonsensical chit- 
chat of such occasions had begun to flag, when I invi- 
ted Miss Mary Williams to the piano. She rose prompt- 
ly at njy request, without any affected airs, and with 
no other apology than that "she felt some diffidence at 
playing in the presence of Miss Crump.'''' The piano 
was an admirable one, and its tones were exquisitely 
fine. Mary seated herself at it, and, after a short but 
beautiful prelude, she commenced one of Burns'.s plain- 
tive sortgs, to -a tune which was new to me, but which 
was obviously from the poet's own land, and by one who 
felt the inspiration of his verse. The composer and the 
poet were both honoured by the performer. Mary's 
voice was inimitably fine. Her enunciation was clear 
and distinct, with just emphasis enough to give the 
verse its appropriate expression, without interrupting 
the melody of the music ; and her modulations were 

She had closed, and was in the act of rising, before 
I awoke from the delightful revery into which she had 
lulled me. I arrested her, however, and insisted upon 
her proceeding ; when she gave me one of Allan Ram- 
sey's best, to measure equally appropriate. This she 
followed with Tannahill's " Gloomy Winter's now awa," 
and was again retiring, when my friend Hall observed, 
" See, Miss Mary, you've brought a tear to Mr. Bald- 
win's eye, and you must not cease until you chase it 
away with some lively air." My friend was right. 
The touching pathos of Mary's voice, conspiring with a 
train of reflections which the song inspired, had really 
brought me to tears. I thought of poor Tannahill's fate. 
He was the victim of a bookseller's stupidity. With 
men of taste and letters, his fugitive pieces, particular- 
ly his lyrics, had gained him a well-deserved reputa- 
tion ; but he was not exempt from the common lot ol 
authors. He was attacked by the ignorant and the 
invidious ; and, with the hopeless design of silencing 
these, he prepared a volume or more of his poems with 
great care, and sent them to a bookseller for publication. 
After the lapse rf several weeks, they were returned 


without a compliment, or an offer for them. The mor- 
tification and disappointment were too severe for his 
reason. It deserted him, and soon after he was found 
dead in a tunnel of the burn which had been the scene 
of one of his earliest songs. Unfortunately, in his mad- 
ness he destroyed his favourite works. 

Such was the train of reflection from which Mary 
was kind enough, at the request of my friend, to relieve 
me by a lively Irish air. Had it not been admirably se- 
lected, I could hardly have borne the transition. But 
there was enough of softening melody, mingled with the 
sprightliness of the air, to lead me gently to a gayer 
mood, in which she left me. 

In the mean time, most of the young ladies and gen- 
tlemen had formed a circle round Miss Aurelia Emma 
Theodosia Augusta Crump, and were earnestly enga- 
ged in pressing her to play. One young lady even went 
so far as to drop on her knees before her, and in this 
posture to beseech " her dear Augusta just to play the 

delightful overture of ," something that sounded 

to me like " Blaze in the frets." This petition was 
urged with such a melting sweetness of voice, such a 
bewitching leer at the gentlemen, and such a theatric 
heave of the bosom, that it threw the young gentlemen 
into transports. Hall was rude enough to whisper in 
mine ear, " that he thought it indelicate to expose an 
unmantled bosom to a perpendicular view of a large 
company ;" and he muttered something about " repub- 
lican simplicity," I knew not exactly what. But I as- 
sured him the fair petitioner was so overcome by her 
solicitude for the overture, that she thought of nothing 
else, and was wholly unconscious that there was a gen- 
tleman in the room. As to his insinuation about 
" points of view," I convinced him by an easy argu- 
ment that it was wholly unfounded ; for that this was 
the very point of view in which an exposed neck must 
always be seen, while men continue taller than women ; 
and that, as the young lady must have been apprized 
of this, she would hardly take so much trouble for no- 
thing. But to return. 


Miss Crump was inexorable. She declared that she 
was entirely out of practice. " She scarcely ever 
touched the piano ;" " Mamma was always scolding 
her for giving so much of her time to French and Ital 
ian, and neglecting her music and painting ; but she 
told mamma the other day, that it really was so irk- 
some to her to quit Racine and Dante, and go to thrum- 
ming upon the piano, that, but for the obligations of 
filial obedience, she did not think she should ever touch 
it again." 

Here Mrs. Crump was kind enough, by the merest 
accident in the world, to interpose, and to relieve the 
company from farther anxiety. 

" Augusta, my dear," said she, " go and play a tune 
or two ; the company will excuse your hoarseness." 

Miss Crump rose immediately at her mother's bid- 
ding, and moved to the piano, accompanied by a large 
group of smiling faces. 

" Poor child," said Mrs. Crump as she went forward, 
" she is frightened to death. I wish Augusta could 
overcome her diffidence." 

Miss Crump was educated at Philadelphia ; she had 
been taught to sing by Madam Piggisqueaki, who was 
a pupil of Ma'm'selle Crokifroggietta, who had sung 
with Madam Catalani ; and she had taken lessons on 
the piano from Seignor Buzzifussi, who had played with 

She seated herself at the piano, rocked to the right, 
then to the left, leaned forward, then backward, and 
began. She placed her right hand about midway the 
keys, and her left about two octaves below it. She 
now put off to the right in a brisk canter up the treble 
notes, and the left after it. The left then led the way 
back, and the right pursued it in like manner. The 
right turned, and repeated its first movement ; but the 
left outran it this time, hopped over it, and flung it en- 
tirely off the track. It came in again, however, behind 
the left on its return, and passed it in the same style. 
They now became highly incensed at each other, and 
met furiously on the middle ground. Here a most 


awful conflict ensued for about the spsce of ten seconds, 
when the right whipped off all of a sudden, as I thought, 
fairly vanquished. But I was in the error against 
which Jack Randolph cautions us : " It had only fallen 
back to a stronger position." It mounted upon two 
black keys, and commenced the note of a rattlesnake. 
This had a wonderful effect upon the left, and placed 
the doctrine of " snake charming" beyond dispute. 
The left rushed furiously towards it repeatedly, but 
seemed invariably panic-struck when it came within six 
keys of it, and as invariably retired with a tremendous 
roaring down the bass keys. It continued its assaults, 
sometimes by the way of the naturals, sometimes by 
the way of the sharps, and sometimes by a zigzag 
through both ; but all its attempts to dislodge the right 
from its stronghold proving ineffectual, it came close 
up to its adversary and expired. 

Any one, or rather no one, can imagine what kind 
of noises the piano gave forth during the conflict. 
Certain it is, no one can describe them, and, therefore, 
I shall not attempt it. 

The battle ended, Miss Augusta moved as though 
she would have arisen, but this was protested against 
by a number of voices at once : " One song, my dear 
Aurelia," said Miss Small ; " you must sing that sweet 
little French air you used to sing in Philadelphia, and 
which Madame Piggisqueaki was so fond of." 

Miss Augusta looked pitifully at her mamma, and her 
mamma looked " sing" at Miss Augusta : accordingly, 
she squared herself for a song. 

She brought her hands to the campus this time in 
fine style, and they seemed now to be perfectly recon- 
ciled to each other. They commenced a kind of col- 
loquy ; the right whispering treble very softly, and the 
left responding bass very loudly. The conference had 
been kept up until I began to desire a change of the sub- 
ject, when my ear caught, indistinctly, some very cu- 
rious sounds, which appeared to proceed from the lips 
of Miss Augusta : they seemed to be compounded of a 
dry cough, a grunt, a hiccough, and a whisper ; and 


the}' were introduced, it appeared to me, as interpret- 
ers between the right and left. Things progressed in 
this way for about the space of fifteen seconds, when I 
happened to direct my attention to Mr. Jenkins, irom 
Philadelphia. His eyes were closed, his head rolled 
gracefully from side to side ; a beam of heavenly com- 
placency rested upon his countenance ; and his whole 
man gave irresistible demonstration that Miss Crump's 
music made him feel good all over. I had just turned 
from the contemplation of Mr. Jenkins's transports, to 
see whether I could extract from the performance any- 
thing intelligible, when Miss Crump made a fly-catch- 
ing grab at half a dozen keys in a row, and at the same 
instant she fetched a long, dunghill-cock crow, at the 
conclusion of which she grabbed as many keys with 
the left. This came over Jenkins like a warm bath, 
and over me like a rake of bamboo briers. 

My nerves had not recovered from this shock before 
Miss Augusta repeated the movement, and accompa- 
nied it with a squall of a pinched cat. This threw me 
into an ague fit ; but, from respect to the performer, I 
maintained my position. She now made a third grasp 
with the right, boxed the faces of six keys in a row 
with the left, and at the same time raised one of the 
most unearthly howls that ever issued from the throat 
of a human being. This seemed the signal for univer- 
sal uproar and destruction. She now threw away all 
reserve, and charged the piano with her whole force. 
She boxed it, she clawed it, she raked it, she scraped 
it. Her neck-vein swelled, her chin flew up, her face 
flushed, her eye glared, her bosom heaved ; she scream- 
ed, she howled, she yelled, cackled, and was in the act 
of dwelling upon the note of a screech-owl, when I took- 
the St. Vitus's dance and rushed out of the room. 
" Good Lord," said a by-stander, " if this be her sing, 
ing, what must her crying be /" As I reached the 
door I heard a voice exclaim, " By heavens ! she's the 
most enchanting performer I ever heard in my life !" 
I turned to see who was the author of this ill-timed 
compliment and wbo should it be but Nick Truck, from 


Lincoln, who seven years before was dancing " Pos 
sum up the Gum-tree" in the chimney-corner of his fa- 
ther's kitchen. Nick had entered the counting-room 
of a merchant in Charleston some five or six years be- 
fore ; had been sent out as supercargo of a vessel to 
Bordeaux, and, while the vessel was delivering one 
cargo and taking in another, had contracted a wonder- 
ful relish for French music. 

As for myself, I went home in convulsions, took six- 
ty drops of laudanum, and fell asleep. I dreamed that 
I was in a beautiful city, the streets of which intersect- 
ed each other at right angles ; that the birds of the air 
and the beasts of the forest had gathered there for bat- 
tle, the former led on by a Frenchman, the latter by 
an Italian ; that I was looking on their movements to- 
wards each other, when I heard the cry of " Hecate 
is coming !" I turned my eye to the northeast, and 
saw a female flying through the air towards the city, 
and distinctly recognised in her the features of Miss 
Crump. I took the alarm and was making my escape, 
when she gave command for the beasts and birds to fal 1 
on me. They did so, and, with all the noises of the 
animal world, were in the act of tearing me to pieces, 
when I was waked by the stepping of Hall, my room- 
mate, into bed. 

" Oh, my dear sir," exclaimed I, " you have waked 
me from a horrible dream. What o'clock is it ?" 

" Ten Vninutes after twelve," said he. 

" And where have you been to this late hour ?" 

" I have just returned from the party." 

" And what kept you so late ?" 

" Why, I disliked to retire while Miss Crump was 

" In mercy's name !" said I, " is she playing yet?" 

" Yes," said he ; "I had to leave her playing at last." 

" And where was Jenkins ?" 

" He was there, still in ecstasies, and urging her to 
play on." 

" And where was Truck ?" 

" He was asleep." 


" And what was she playing '?" 

"'An Italian — " 

Here I swooned, and heard no more. 



In the good old days of fescues, abisselfas, and an- 
■persants* terras which used to be familiar in this conn- 
try during the Revolutionary war, and which lingered 
in some of our county schools for a few years after- 
ward, I visited my friend Captain GrifTen, who resided 
about seven miles to the eastward of Wrightsborough, 
then in Richmond, but now in Columbia county. I 
reached the captain's hospitable dome on Easter, and 
was received by him and his good lady with a Georgia 
welcome of 1790. It was warm from the heart, and 
taught me in a moment that the obligations of the 
visit were upon their side, not mine. Such receptions 
were net peculiar, at that time, to the captain and his 
family ; they were common throughout the state. 
Where are they now ! and where the generous hospi- 
talities which invariably followed them ! I see them 
occasionally at the contented farmer's door and at his 
festive board, but when they shall have taken leave of 
these, Georgia will know them no more. 

The day was consumed in the interchange of news 

* The fescue was a sharpened wire or other instrument used by 
the preceptor to point out the letters to the children. 

Abisselfa is a contraction of the words " a by itself, a.'' It was 
usual, when either of the vowels constituted a syllable of a word, to 
pronounce it, and denote its independent character by the words 
just mentioned, thus: " a by itself, a-c-o-r-n corn, acorn;" "e by it 
eel-f, e-vi-1. evil," &c. 

The character which stands for the word " and" (&) was probably 
pronounced by the same nc-ompaniment, but in terms borrowed from 
the Latin language, thus : " & per se" (by itself) & Kence, " an- 



between the captain and myself (though, I confess, it 
might have been better employed), and the night found 
us seated round a temporary fire, which the captain's 
sons had kindled up for the purpose of dying eggs. It 
was a common custom of those days with boys to dye 
and peck eggs on Easter Sunday and for a few days 
afterward. They were coloured according to the fancy 
of the dyer ; some yellow, some green, some purple, 
and some with a variety of colours, borrowed from a 
piece of calico. They were not unfrequently beautified 
with a taste and skill which would have extorted a 
compliment from Hezekiah Niles, if he had seen then\ 
a year ago, in the hands of the " young operatives," in 
some of the northern manufactories. No sooner was 
the work of dying finished, than our " young opera- 
tives" sallied forth to stake the whole proceeds of their 
" domestic industry" upon a peck. Egg was struck 
against egg, point to point, and the egg that was broken 
was given up as lost to the owner of the one which 
came whole from the shock. 

While the boys were busily employed in the man- 
ner just mentioned, the captain's youngest son, George, 
gave us an anecdote highly descriptive of the Yankee 
and Georgia character, even in their buddings, and at 
this early date. " What you think, pa," said he, " Zeph 
Pettibone went and got his Uncle Zach to turn him a 
wooden egg ; and he won a whole hatful o' eggs from 
all us boys 'fore we <found it out ; but, when we found 
it out, maybe John Brown didn't smoke him for it, and 
took away all his eggs, and give 'em back to us boys ; 
and you think he didn't go then and git a guinea-egg, 
and win most as many more, and John Brown would 
o' give it to him agin if all we boys hadn't said we 
thought it was fair. I never see such a boy as that 
Zeph Pettibone in all my life. He don't mind whip- 
ping no more 'an nothing at all, if he can win eggs." 

This anecdote, however, only fell in by accident, for 

there was an all-absorbing subject which occupied the 

. minds of the boys during the whole evening, of which 

I could occasionally catch distant hints, in under tones 


and whispers, but of which I could make nothing, until 
they were afterward explained by the captain himself. 
Such as " I'll be bound Pete Jones and Bill Smith 
stretches him." "By Jockey, soon as they seize him, 
you'll see me down upon him like a duck upon a June- 
bug." " By the time he touches the ground, he'll think 
he's got into a hornet's nest," &c. 

" The boys," said the captain, as they retired, " are 
going to turn out the schoolmaster to-morrow, and you 
can perceive they think of nothing else. We must go 
over to the schoolhouse and witness the contest, in or- 
der to prevent injury to preceptor or pupils ; for, though 
the master is always, upon such occasions, glad to be 
turned out, and only struggles long enough to present 
his patrons a fair apology for giving the children a 
holyday, which he desires as much as they do, the boys 
always conceive a holyday gained by a " turn out" as 
the sole achievement of their valour ; and, in their 
zeal to distinguish themselves upon such memorable 
occasions, they sometimes become too rough, provoke 
the master to wrath, an$ a very serious conflict ensues. 
To prevent these consequences, to bear witness that 
the master was forced to yield before he would with- 
hold a day of his promised labour from his employers, 
and to act as a mediator between him and the boys in 
settling the articles of peace, I always attend ; and you 
must accompany me to-morrow." I cheerfully prom- 
ised to do so. 

The captain and I rose before the sun, but the boys 
had risen and were off to the schoolhouse before the 
dawn. After an early breakfast, hurried by Mrs. G. 
for our accommodation, my host and myself took up 
our line of march towards the schoolhouse. We reach 
ed it about half an hour before the master arrived, bu 
not before the boys had completed its fortifications. It 
was a simple log-pen, about twenty feet square, with a 
doorway cut out of the logs, to which was fitted a rude 
door, made of clapbords, and swung on wooden hinges. 
The roof was covered with clapboards also, and retained 
in their places by heavy logs placed on them. The 


chimney was built of iOg^, diminishing in size from the 
ground to the top* and overspread icicle and out with 
red clay mortar. The classic hut occupied :: lovely 
spot, overshadowed by majestic hickorys, towering pop- 
; ars, and strong-armed oaks-. The little plain on which 
t stood was terminated, at the distance of about fifty 
Daces from its door, by the brow of a hill, which de- 
scended rather abruptly to a noble spring, that gushed 
©ycusly forth from among the roots of a stately beech 
at its foot. The stream from this fountain scarcely 
burst into view, before it hid itself beneath the dark 
shade of a field of cane, which overspread the dale 
through which it flowed, and marked its windings, until 
it turned from the sight among vine-covered hills, at a 
distance far beyond that to which the eye could have 
traced it without the help of its evergreen n belt. A re- 
mark of the captain's, as we viewed the lovely country 
around us, will give the reader my apology for the mi- 
nuteness of the foregoing description. " These lands," 
said he, " will never wear out. Where they lie level, - 
they will be as good fifty years hence as they are now.''' 
Fortjr-two years afterward I visited the spot on which 
he stood when he made the remark. The sun poured 
his whole strength upon the bald hill which once sup- 
ported the sequestered schoolhouse ; many a deep-wash- 
ed gully met at a sickly bog where gushed the limpid 
fountain ; a dying willow rose from the soil which nour- 
ished the venerable beech ; flocks wandered among 
the dwarf pines, and cropped xi scanty meal from the 
vale where the rich cane bowed and rustled to every 
breeze, and all around was barren, dreary, and cheer-. 
Jess. But to return. 

As I before remarked, the boys had strongly fortified 
the schoolhouse, of which they had taken possession. 
The door was barricaded with logs, which I should have 
supposed would have defied the combined powers of the 
whole school. The chimney, too, was nearly filled 
with logs of goodly size ; and these were the only 
passways to the interior. I concluded, if a turn out 
was all that was necessary to decide the contest in fa- 


vour of the boys, they had already gained the victory. 
They had,, however, not as much confidence in their 
outworks as I had, and, therefore, had armed themselves 
with long sticks : not for the purpose of using them 
upon the master if the battle should come to close quar- 
ters, for this was considered unlawful warfare ; but for 
the purpose of guarding their works from his approaches, 
which it was considered perfectly lawful to protect by 
all manner of jobs and punches through the cracks. 
From the early assembling of the girls, it was very ob- 
vious that they had been let into the conspiracy, though 
they took no^part in the active operations. They would, 
however, occasionally drop a word of encouragement 
to the boys, such as " I wouldn't turn out the master 
but if I did turn him out, I'd die before I'd give up." 
These remarks doubtless had an imboldening effect 
upon " the young freeborns" as Mrs. Trollope would 
call them ; for I never knew the Georgian of any age 
who was indifferent to the smiles and praises of the 
ladies — before his marriage. 

At length Mr. Michael St. John, the schoolmaster, 
made his appearanoe. Though some of the girls had 
met him a quarter of a mile from the s<- hoolhouse, and 
told him all that had happened, he gave signs of sudden 
astonishment and indignation when he advanced to the 
door, and was assailed by a whole platoon of sticks frorr 
the cracks : " Why, what does all this mean ?" saia 
he, as he approached the captain and myself, with a 
countenance of two or three varying expressions. 

" Why," said the captain, " the boys have turned you 
out, because you have refused to give them an Easter 

" Oh," returned Michael, " that's it, is it 1 Well, I'll 
see whether their parents are to pay me for letting their 
children play when they please." So saying, he ad- 
vanced to the schoolhouse, and demanded, in a lofr, 
tone, of its inmates, an unconditional surrender. 

f* Well, give us holyday then," said twenty little ur- 
chins within, "and we'll let you in." 

" Open the door of the Academy" — (Michael would 
G 2 


allow nobody to call it a schoolhouse) — " Open the door 
of the academy this instant," said Michael, " or I'll 
break it down." 

" Break it down," said Pete Jones and Bill Smith, 
"and we'll break you down." 

During this colloquy I took a peep into the fortress, 
to see how the garrison were affected by the parley. 
The little ones were obviously panic-struck at the first 
words of command ; but their fears were all chased 
away by the bold, determined reply of Pete Jones and 
Bill Smith, and they raised a whoop of defiance. 

Michael now walked round the academy three times, 
examining all its weak points with great care. He 
then paused, reflected for a moment, and wheeled off 
suddenly -towards the woods, as though a bright thought 
had just struck him. He passed twenty things which 
I supposed he might be in quest of, such as huge stones, 
fence-rails, portable logs, and the like, without bestow- 
ing the least attention upon them. Pie went to one . 
old log, searched it thoroughly, then to another, then 
to a hollow stump, peeped into it with great care, then 
to a hollow log, into which he looked with equal cau- 
tion, and so on. 

" What is he after ?" inquired I. 

" I'm sure I don't know," said the captain, " but the 
boys do. Don't you notice the breathless silence which 
prevails in the schoolhouse, and the intense anxiety with 
which they are eying him through the cracks ?" 

At this moment Michael had reached a little exca- 
vation at the root of a dogwood, and was in the act of 
putting his hand into it, when a voice from the garri- 
son exclaimed, with most touching pathos, " Lo'd o' 
messy, he's found my eggs ! boys, let's give up." 

" I won't give up," was the reply from many voices 
at once. 

" Rot your cowardly skin, Zeph Pettibone, you 
wouldn't give a wooden egg for all the holydays in the 

If these replies did not reconcile Zephaniah to his ap- 
prehended loss, it at least silenced his complaints. In 


the mean time Michael was employed in relieving 
Zeph's storehouse of its provisions ; and, truly, its con- 
tents told well for Zeph's skill in egg-pecking. How- 
ever, Michael took out the eggs with great care, and 
brought them within a few paces of the schoolhouse, 
and laid them down with equal care in full view of the 
besieged. He revisited the places which he had search- 
ed, and to which he seemed to have been led by intui- 
tion ; for from nearly all of them did he draw eggs, in 
greater or less numbers. These he treated as he had 
done Zeph's, keeping each pile separate. Having ar- 
ranged the eggs in double files before the door, he 
mai'ched between them with an air of triumph, and 
once more demanded a surrender, under pain of an en- 
tire destruction of the garrison's provisions. 

" Break 'em just as quick as you please," said George 
Griffin ; " our mothers '11 give us a plenty more, won't 
they, pa ?" 

" I can answer for yours, my son," said the captain ; 
" she would rather give up every egg upon the farm, 
than see you play the coward or traitor to save your 

Michael, finding that he could make no impression 
upon the fears or the avarice of the boys, determined 
to carry their fortifications by storm. Accordingly, 
he procured a heavy fence-rail, and commenced the 
assault upon the door. It soon came to pieces, and 
the upper logs fell out, leaving a space of about three 
feet at the top. Michael boldly entered the breach, 
when, by the articles of war, sticks were thrown aside 
as no longer lawful weapons. He was resolutely met 
on the half-demolished rampart by Peter Jones and 
William Smith, supported by James Griffin. These 
were the three largest boys in the school; the first 
about sixteen years of age, the second about fifteen, 
and the third just eleven. Twice was Michael repulsed 
by these young champions ; but the third effort carried 
him fairly into the fortress. Hostilities now ceased 
for a while, and the captain and I, having levelled the 
remaining logs at the door, followed Michael into the 


house. A large three inch plank (if it deserve that 
name, for it was wrought from the half of a tree's trunk 
enrirely with the axe), attached to the logs by means 
of wooden pins, served the whole school for a writing 
desk. At a convenient distance below it, and on a line 
with it, stretched a smooth log, resting upon the "logs 
of the house, which answered for the writers' seat. 
Michael took his' seat upon the desk, placed his feet 
on the seat, and was sitting very composedly, when, 
with a simultaneous movement, Pete and Bill seized 
each a leg, and marched off with it in quick time. The 
consequence is obvious ; Michael's head first took the 
desk, then the seat, and finally the ground (for the house 
was not floored), with three sonorous thumps of most 
doleful portent. No sooner did he touch the ground 
than he was completely buried with boys. The three 
elder laid themselves across his head, neck, and breast, 
the rest arranging themselves ad libitum. Michael's 
equanimity was considerably disturbed by the first 
thump, became restive with the second, and took flight 
with the third. His first effort was to disengage his 
legs, for without them he could not rise, and to lie in 
his present position was extremely inconvenient and 
undignified. Accordingly, he drew up his right, and 
kicked at random. This movement laid out about six 
in various directions upon the floor. Two rose crying : 
" Ding his old red-headed skin," said one t>f them, " to 
go and kick me right in my sore belly, .where I fell 
down and raked it, running after that fellow that cried 
'school-butter.' "* 

* I have never been able to satisfy myself clearly as to the literal 
meaning of these terms. They were considered an unpardonable in- 
sult to a country school, and always justified an attack by the whole 
lity upon the person who used them in their hearing. I have 
known the scholars pursue a traveller two miles to be revenged of 
the insult. Probably they are a corruption of " The school's better." 
" Better" was the term commonly used of old to denote a superior, 
• a^ it sometimes is in our day : " Wait till your betters are served," 
for example. I conjecture, therefore, the expression just alluded to 
was one of challenge, contempt, and defiance, by which the person 
who used it avowed himself the superior in all respects of the whole 
school, from the preceptor down. If any one can give a betiei ao 
count of it, I shall be pleased to receive it. 


" Drot his old snaggle-tooth picture," said the other, 
" to go and hurt rny sore toe, where I knocked the nail 
off going to the spring to fetch a gourd of warter for 
him, and not for myself n'other." 

"Hut!" said Captain Griffin, "young Washingtons 
mind these trifles ! At him again." 

The name of Washington cured their wounds and 
dried up their tears in an instant, and they legged him 
de novo. The left leg treated six more as unceremoni- 
ously as the right had those just mentioned ; but the 
talismanic name had just fallen-upon their ears before 
the kick, so they were invulnerable. They therefore 
returned to the attack without loss of time. The 
struggle seemed to wax hotter and hotter for a short 
time after Micnaef came to the ground, and he threw 
the children about in all directions and postures, giving 
some of them thumps which would have placed the 
ruffle-sliirted little darlings of the present, clay under the 
discipline of paregoric and opodeldoc for a week; but 
these hardy sons of the forest seemed not to feel them. 
As Michael's head grew easy, his limbs, by a natural 
sympathy, became more quiet, and he offered one da^'s 
holyday as the price. The boys demanded a week ; 
but here the captain interposed, and, after the common 
but often unjust custom of arbitrators, split the differ- 
ence. In this instance the terms were equitable enough, 
and were immediately acceded to by both parties. 
Michael rose in a good humour, and the boys were. 
of course. Loud was their talking of their deeds 
of valour as they retired. One little fellow abou: 
seven years old, and about three feet and a half high 
jumped up, cracked his feet together, and exclaimed, 
" By jingo, Pete Jones, Bill Smith, and me can hold 
any Sinjin that ever trod Georgy grit." By-tha-way, 
the name of St. John was always pronounced " Sinjiw' 
by the common people of that day ; and so it must 
have been by Lord Boiingbroke himself, else his friend 
Pope would never have addressed him in a line so un- 
musical as 

" Awake, my St. John, leave all meaner things." 

82 THE "CHARMING creature as a wife. 

Nor would Swift, the friend and companion of both, 
have written 

" What St. John's skill in state affairs, 
What Ormond's valour, Oxford's cares." 


" Where folly, pride, and faction sway, 
Remote from St. John, Pope, and Gray." 



My nephew, George Baldwin, was but ten years 
younger than myself. He was the son of a plain, prac- 
tical, sensible farmer, who, without the advantages of a 
liberal education, had enriched his mind, by study and 
observation, with a fund of useful knowledge rarely 
possessed by those who move in his sphere of life. 
His wife was one of the most lovely of women. She 
was pious, but not austere ; cheerful, but not light ; 
generous, but not prodigal ; economical, but not close ; 
hospitable, but not extravagant. ^'In native powers of 
mind she was every way my brother's equals in ac- 
quirements she was decidedly his superior. -T% this I 
have his testimony as well as my own ; but it was im- 
possible to discover in her conduct anything going to 
show that she coincided with us in opinion. To have 
heard her converse, you Would have supposed she did 
nothing but read ; to have looked through the depart- 
ments of her household, you would have supposed she 
never read. Everything which lay within her little 
province bore the impress of her hand or acknowledg- 
ed her supervision. Order, neatness, and cleanliness 
prevailed everywhere. All provisions were given out 
with her own hands, and she could tell precisely the 
quantity of each article that it would require to serve 
a given number of persons, without stint or wasteful 
profusion. In the statistics of domestic economy she 
was perfectly versed. She would tell you, with aston 


ishing accuracy, how many pounds of cured bacon you 
might expect from a given weight of fresh pork ; how 
many quarts of cream a given quantity of milk would 
yield ; how much butter so much cream ; how much 
of each article it would take to serve so many persons 
a month or a year. C\ Supposing no change in the fam- 
ily, and she would tell to a day when a given quantity 
of provisions of any kind would be exhausted. She 
reduced to certain knowledge everything that could 
be ; and she approximated to it as nearly as possible 
with those matters that could not be. And yet she 
scolded less and whipped less than any mistress of a 
family I ever saw. The reason is obvious. Every- 
thing under her care went on with perfect system. To 
each servant was allotted his or her respective duties, 
and to each was assigned the time in which those du- 
ties were to be performed. During this time she suf. 
fered them not to be interrupted, if it was possible to 
protect them from interruption. Her children were 
permitted to give no orders to servants but through 
her, until they reached the age at which they were ca- 
pable of regulating their orders by her rules. She 
laid no plans to detect her servants in theft, but she 
took great pains to convince them that they could not 
pilfer without detection ; and this did she without be- 
traying any suspicions of their integrity. Thus she 
would have her biscuits uniformly of a size, and, under 
the form of instructions to her cook, she would show 
her precisely the quantity of flour which it took to 
make so many biscuits. After all this, she exposed 
her servants to as few temptations as possible. She 
never sent them to the larder unattended if she could 
avoid it ; and never placed them under the watch of 
children. She saw that they were well provided with 
everything they needed, and she indulged them in rec- 
reations when she could. No service was required 
of them on the Sabbath farther than to spread the table 
and to attend it ; a service which was lightened as 
much as possible by having the provisions of that day 
very simple, and prepared the day befare. 


Such, but half described, were the father and moth< 
of George Baldwin. He was their only son and eldewi 
child ; but he had two sisters, Mary and Martha ; the 
first four, and the second six years younger than him- 
self — a son next to George having died in infancy. 
The two eldest children inherited their names from 
their parents, and all of them grew up worthy of tho 
stock from which they sprang. 

George, having completed his education at Prince- 
ton, where he was graduated with great honour to him- 
self, returned to Georgia and commenced the study oi 
the law. After studying a year he was admitted to 
the bar, just after he had completed his one-and-twen 
tieth year. I have been told by gentlemen who belong 
to this profession, that one year is too short a time for 
preparation for the intricacies of legal lore ; and it may 
be so, but I never knew a young man acquit himself 
more creditably than George did in his maiden speech. 

He located himself in the city of , seventy miles 

from his father's residence ; and, after the lapse of three 
years, he counted up eight hundred dollars as the nett 
p#ofits of his last year's practice. Reasonabhy calcu- 
lating that his receipts would annually increase for sev- 
eral years to come, having no expenses to encounter 
except for his board and clothing (for his father had 
furnished him with a complete library), he nowythought 
of taking to himself a helpmate. Hitherto hchad led 
a very retired, studious life ; but now he began to court 
the society of ladies. 

About this time Miss Evelina Caroline Smith returned 
to the city from Philadelphia, where, after ■Mftsence 
of three years, she had completed her education. She 
was the only child. of a wealthy, unlettered merchant, 
who, rather by good luck than good manaajameiit, had 
amassed a fortune of about fifty thousand dcjHjrgt Mr. 
Smith war; one of those men who coneeiSjBBiat all 
earthly greatness, and, consequently, all eaHpy bliss, 
concentred in wealth. The consequence wais' inevita- 
ble. To the poor he was haughty, supercilious, and ai*» 
rogant, and, not unfrequently, wantonly insolent ; to the 


rich he was friendly, kind, or obsequious, as their purses 
equalled or overmeasured his own. His wife was even 
below himself in moral stature ; proud, loquacious, sil- 
ly. Evelina was endowed by nature with a good mind* 
and, what her parents esteemed of infinitely more value- 
she was beautiful, from her infancy to the time when ] 
introduced her to the reader, which was just after she 
had completed her seventeenth year. Evelina's time, 
between her sixth and fourteenth year, had been chiefly 
employed in learning from her father and mother what 
a perfect beauty she was, and what kind of gewgaws 
exhibited her beauty to the greatest advantage ; how 
rich she would be ; and " what havoc she would make 
of young men's hearts, by-and-by." In these instruct- 
ive-lectures her parents sometimes found gratuitous help 
from, silly male and female visiters, who, purely to win 
favour from the parents, would expatiate on the perfec- 
tions of " the lovely," " charming," " beautiful little-crea- 
ture" in her presence. The consequence was, that 
pride and vanity became, at an early age, the leading 
traits of the child's character, and admiration and flat- 
tery the only food which she could relish. Her parent-fe 
subjected themselves to the loss of her society for three 
years, while she was at school in Philadelphia, from no 
better motive than to put her on an equality with Mr. 
B.'s and Mr. C.'s daughters ; or, rather, to imitate the 
examples of Messrs. B. & C, merchants of the same 
citv, who were very rich. 

While she was in Philadelphia Evelina was well in- 
structed. She was taught in what female loveliness 
truly consists ; the qualities which deservedly command 
the respect of the wise and good ; and the deportmen- 
which ensures to a female the admiration of all. Bu, 
Evelina's mind had received a bias from which these 
lessons couldnot relieve it ; and the only effect of therfi 
upon her Was to make her an accomplished hypocrite,* 
with all her ether foibles. She improved her instruc- 
tions only to the gratification of her ruling - - p assio n. In 
music she made some proficiency, because she saw in it 
a readv means of gaining admiration. 


George Baldwin had formed a partial acquaintance 
with Mr. Smith before the return of his daughter ; but 
he rather shunned than courted a closer intimacy. 
Smith, however, had intrusted George with some pro- 
fessional business, found him trustworthy, and thought 
he saw in him a man who, at no very distant day, was 

become distinguished for both wealth and talents ; and, 
pon a very short acquaintance, he took occasion to tell 
him, " that whoever married his daughter should re- 
ceive the next day a check for twenty thousand dollars. 
That'll do," continued he, " to start upon ; and, when 
I and the old woman drop off, she will get thirty more." 
This had an effect upon George directly opposite to that 
which it was designed to have. 

Miss Smith had been at home about three weeks, and 
the whole town had sounded the praises of her beauty 
and accomplishments ; but George had not seen her, 
though Mr. Smith had, in the mean time, given him 
several notes to collect, with each of which he " won- 
dered how it happened that two so much alike as him- 
self and George had never been more intimate ; and 
hoped he wouid come over in a sociable way and see 
him often." About this time, however, George re- 
ceived a special invitation to a large tea-party from 
Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which he could not with propri- 
ety reject, and accordingly he went. He was received 
at the door by Mr. Smith, announced upon entering the 
drawing-room, and conducted through a crowd of gen- 
tlemen to Miss Smith, to whom he was introduced with 
peculiar emphasis. He made his obeisance and re- 
tired ; for common politeness required him to bestow 
his attentions upon some of the many ladies in the 
room, who were neglected by the gentlemen in their 
rivalship for a smile or word from Miss Evelina. She 
was the admiration of all the gentlemen, and, with the 
exception of two or three young ladies, who " thought 
her too affected," she was praised by all the ladies. 
In short, by nearly universal testimony, she was pro . 
nounced " a charming creature." 


An hour had elapsed before George found an oppor- 
tunity of giving her those attentions which, as a guest 
of the family, courtesy required from him. The op- 
portunity was at length, however, furnished by herself. 
In circling round the room to entertain the company, 
she reached George just as the seat next to him had 
been vacated. This she occupied, and a conversa- 
tion ensued, with every word of which she gained upon 
his respect and esteem. Instead of finding her that 
gay, volatile, vain creature whom he expected to find 
in the rich and beautiful daughter of Mr. and Mrs. 
Smith, he found her a modest, sensible, unassuming 
girl, whose views upon all subjects coincided precisely 
with his own. 

" She yielded to the wishes of her parents, from a 
sense of duty, in giving and attending parties ; but she 
always left them, under the conviction that the time 
spent at them was worse than wasted. It was really 
a luxury to her to retire from the idle chit-chat of them, 
and to spend a few minutes in conversation with a male 
or female friend, who would consider it no disrespect 
to the company to talk rationally upon such occasions. 
And yet, in conducting such conversaitons at such 
times, it was so difficult to avoid the appearance of ped- 
antry, and to keep it from running into something too 
stiff or too grave for a social circle, that she really was 
afraid to court them." As to books, " she read but 
very few novels, though her ignorance of them often 
exposed her to some mortification ; but she felt that 
her ignorance here was a compliment to her taste and 
delicacy, which made ample amends for the mortifica- 
tions to which it forced her occasionally to submit. 
With Hannah More, Mrs. Chapone, Bennett, and other 
writers of the same class, she was very familiar" (and 
she descanted upon the peculiar merits of each) ; " but, 
after all, books were of small consequence to a lady, 
without those domestic virtues which enable her to 
blend superior usefulness with superior acquirements ; 
and if learning or usefulness must be forsaken, it had 
better be the first. Of music she was extravagantly 

88 THE "CHARMINj creature" as a wife. 

fond, and she presumed she ever would be ; but she 
confessed she had no taste for its modern refinements." 

Thus she went on with the turns of the conversa- 
tion, and as she caught George's views. It is true she 
would occasionally drop a remark which did not har- 
.lionize exactly with these dulcet strains ; and, in her 
rambles over the world of science, she would some- 
times seem at fault where George thought she ought 
to have been perfectly at home ; but he found a thou- 
sand charitable ways of accounting for all this, not 
one of which led to the idea that she might have learn- 
ed these diamond sentiments by rote from the lips of 
her preceptress. Consequently, they came with re- 
sistless force upon the citadel of George's heart, and 
in less than half an hour overpowered it completely. 
*— "" Truly," thought George, " she is a charming crea- 
ture ! When was so much beauty ever blended with 
such unassuming manners and such intellectual endow- 
ments ! How wonderful, that the daughter of Mr. and 
Mrs. Smith should possess such accomplishments ! 
How dull — with all her filial affection — how dull must 
be her life under the parental roof! Not a companion, 
not a sympathetic feeling there ! How sweet it would 
be to return from the toils of the courts to a bosom 
friend so soft, so benevolent, so intelligent." 

Thus ran George's thoughts as soon as Miss Smith 
nad left him to go in .quest of new conquests. The 
effects of her short interview with him soon became 
visible to every eye. His conversation lost its spirit ; 
was interrupted by moody abstractions, and was sillier 
than it had ever been. George had a fine person, and, 
for the first time in his life, he now set a value upon 
it. To exhibit it to the greatest advantage, he walked 
the room "under various pretences ; and when in hia 
promenades he caught the eye of Miss Smith resting 
upon him, he assumed a more martial or theatric step, 
which made him look ridiculous at the time, and feel 
so immediately afterward. In his listless journeyings, 
his attention was arrested by a beautiful cottage scene, 
at the foot of which glittered, in golden letters, 
" By Evelina Caroline Smith s of — — , Georgia.'* 


This led him to another, and another, from the same 
pencil. Upon these he was gazing with a look and 
attitude the most complimentary to Miss Evelina that 
he could possibly assume, while the following remarks 
were going the rounds. 

" Do you notice George Baldwin V 

w Oh yes ! he's in for it ; dead, sir ; good-by to bail- 
writs and sassiperaris ! ' 

" Oh, she's only put an attachment on him." 

" Really, Miss Smith, it was too bad to serve George 
Baldwin so cruelly !" 

" Ah, sir, if reports are true, Mr. Baldwin is too fond 
of his books to think of any lady, much less of one so 
unworthy of his attentions as I am." 

George heard this ; nestled a little ; threw back his 
shoulders ; placed his arms akimbo, and looked at the 
picture with wonderful independence. 

Then Miss Evelina was handed to the piano, and to 
a simple, beautiful air, she sang a well- written song, 
the burden of which was an apology for love at "first 
sight. This was wanton cruelty to an unresisting cap- 
tive. To do her justice, however, her performance 
had not been equalled during the evening. 

The company at length began to retire ; and, so long 
as a number remained sufficient to give him an anol- 
ogy for staying, George delayed his departure. The 
last group of ladies and gentlemen finally rose, and 
George commenced a fruitless search for his hat ; 
fruitless, because he looked for*it where he knew it 
was not to be found. But a servant was more suc- 
cessful, and brought it to him just as he was giving up 
the search as hopeless, and commencing a conversa- 
tion with Miss Smith for the night. 

" Why, where did you find it ?" said George, with 
seeming surprise and pleasure at the discovery. 

" Out da, in de entry, sir, whay all de gentleman put 
da hats." 

" Oh, I ought to have known that. Good-by, Mis3 
Evelina!" said George, throwing a melting eloquence 
into the first word, and reaching forth his hand. 


" Good evening, Mr. Baldwin !" returned she ; " I 
hope you will not be quite so great a stranger here as 
you have been. Pa has often wondered that you never 
visit him." Here she relinquished his hand with a 
' gentle but sensible pressure, which might mean two or 
three things. Whatever was its meaning, it ran like 
nitrous oxide through every fibre of George's composi- 
tion, and robbed him for a moment of his last ray of 

" Believe me, Miss Smith," said he, as if he were 
opening a murder case, " believe me, there are fasci- 
nations about this hospitable dome, in the delicate 
touches of the pencil which adorn it, and in the soft 
breathings of the piano, awaked by the hand which I 
have just relinquished, which will not permit me to de- 
lay, as heretofore, those visits which professional duty 
requires me to make to your kind parent (your father) 
a single moment beyond the time that his claims to 
my respects become absolute. Good evening, Miss 

" Did ever mortal of common sense talk and act so 
much like an arrant fool as I have this evening !" said 
George, as the veil of night fell upon the visions which 
had danced before his eyes for the four preceding 

Though it was nearly twelve o'clock at night when 
he reached his office, he could not sleep until he laid the 
adventures of the evening before his father and mother. 
The return mail brought him a letter from his parents 
written by his mother's hand, which we regret we can 
not give a place in this narrative. Suffice it to say, it 
was kind and affectionate, but entirely too cold for the 
temperature of George's feelings. It admitted the in- 
trinsic excellence of Miss Smith's views and sentiments, 
but expressed serious apprehensions that her habits of 
life would prove an insuperable barrier to her ever put. 
ting them in full practice. " We all admit, my dear 
George," said the amiable writer, " the value of indus- 
try, economy — in short, of all the domestic and social 
virtues ; but how small the number who practise them ' 


Golden sentiments are to be picked up anywhere. In 
this age they are upon the lips of everybody ; but we 
do not find that they exert as great an influence upon 
the morals of society as they did in the infancy of our 
Republic, when they were less talked of. For ourselves, 
we confess we prize the gentleman or lady who habitu- 
ally practises one Christian virtue, much higher than we 
do the one who barely lectures eloquently upon them 
all. But we are not so weak or so uncharitable as to 
suppose that none who discourse fluently upon them 
can possess them." 

" The whole moral which we would deduce from the 
foregoing remarks, is one which your own observation 
must have taught you a thousand times ; that but little 
confidence is to be reposed in fine sentiments which do 
not come recommended by the life and conduct of the 
person who retails them. And yet, familiar as you are 
with this truth, you certainly have more command over 
your judgment than have most young men of your age, 
if you do not entirely forget it the moment you hear such 
sentiments from the lips of 'a lady possessing strong 
personal attractions.' There is a charm in beauty 
which even philosophy is constrained to acknowledge, 
and which youth instinctively transfers to all the moral 
qualities of its possessor." 


" When you come to know the elements of which 
connubial happiness is composed, you will be astonished 
to find that, with few exceptions, they are things which 
you now consider the veriest trifles imaginable. It is a 
happy ordination of Providence that it should be so ■, 
for this brings matrimonial bliss within the reach of all 
classes of persons." * * * * 

* * "Harmony of thought and feeling upon 

the little daily occurrences of life, congeniality of views 
and sentiments between yourselves and your connexions 
on either side, similarity of habits and pursuits among 
your immediate relatives and friends, if not essential to 
nuptial bliss, are certainly its chief ingredientSo" * 


*/■**■-* " Raving pointed y jj 

to the sources of conjugal felicity, your own judgment 
will spare my trembling hand the painful duty of point- 
ing you to those fountains of bitterness and wo— '-but I 
forget that I am representing your father as well as 
myself. 5 ' 

George read the long letter, from which the foregoing 
extracts are taken, with deep interest and with some 
alarm ; but he was not in a situation to profit by his 
parents' counsels. He had visited Miss Smith repeat- 
edly in the time he was waiting to hear from his parents ; 
and though he had discovered many little foibles in her 
character, he found a ready apology or an easy remedy 
for them all. 

The lapse of a few months found them engaged, and 
George the happiest mortal upon earth. 

" And now, my dear Evelina," said he, as soon as 
they had interchanged their vows, " I go to render my- 
self worthy of the honour you have conferred upon me. 
My studies, which love, doubt, and anxiety hare too long 
interrupted, shall now be renewed with redoubled inten- 
sity. My Evelina's interest, being associated with all 
my labours, will turn them to pleasures ; my honour 
being hers, I shall court it with untiring zeal. She 
will therefore excuse me if my visits are not repeated 
in future quite as often as they have been heretofore." 

"What, a'ready, Mr. Baldwin!" exclaimed she, 
weeping most beautifully. 

" Why no, not for the world, if my dear Evelina 
says not! But I thought that— I nattered myself — I 
hoped — my Evelina would find a sufficient apology in 
the motive." 

The little mistake was rectified in the course of an 
.'iour, and they parted more in raptures with each other 
ttian they had ever been. 

George continued his visits as before, and, in the 
mean time, his business began to suffer from neglect, 
of which his clients occasionally reminded him, with all 
the frankness which one exhibits at seeing a love affair 
carried on with too much zeal and at his expense. In 


truth, George's heart had more than once entertained 
a wish (for his lips dare not utter it) that his charming 
Evelina's affection could come down to a hundred of 
Wedgewood when the circuit commenced, and give 
him a temporary respite. 

The evening before he set out he spent with his 
"charming Evelina/' of course, and the interview closed 
with a most melting scene ; but I may not stop to de- 
scribe it. Candour constrains me to say, however, that 
George got over it before he reached his office, which 
he entered actually whistling a merry time. 

He was at the second court of the circuit, and had 
been from home nearly a fortnight, when one of his 
friends addressed him with, " I'll tell you what it is, 
Baldwin, you'd better go home, or Dr. Bibb will cut you 
out. There have been two or three parties in town 
since you came away, at all of which Miss Smith and 
Bibb were as thick as two pickpockets. The whole 
town's- talking about them. I heard a young lady say 
to her, she'd tell you how she was carrying on with 
Bibb ; and she declared, upon her word and honour 
(looking killniferously at Bibb), that she only knew you 
as her father's collecting attorney." 

George reddened deeper and deeper at every word 
of this, but passed it off with a hearty, hectic laugh. 

It was on Thursday afternoon that he received this 
intelligence, and it met him forty miles from home, and 
twenty-five from the next court in order. Two of his 
cases were yet undisposed of. Of these he gave hasty 
notes to one of his brethren, in order to guide him if he 
should be forced to trial, but instructing him to continue 
them if he could. Having made these arrangements, 
Friday afternoon, at five o'clock, found his jaded horse 
at his office door. George tarried here no longer than 
was necessary to change his apparel, and then he hast- 
ened to the habitation of his " charming Evelina." 

He was received at the door by a servant, who es- 
corted him to the drawing-room, and who. to heighten 
Evelina's joy by surprise, instructed her maid to tell her 
that there was a gentleman in the drawing-room who 
wished to see her. 

94 THE "charming creature" as a wife. 

Minute after minute rolled away, and she did not 
make her appearance. After he had been kept in sus- 
pense for nearly a quarter of an hour, she entered the 
room, dressed in bx'idal richness and taste. 

" Why, is it you !" said she, rushing to him in trans- 
ports : " I thought it was Dr. Bibb." 

" And who is Dr. Bibb, Evelina ?" said George. 

" He's a young physician, with whom I had a partial 
acquaintance in Philadelphia, and who has just settled 
himself in this place. I want you to get acquainted 
with him, for he is one of the most interesting young 
gentlemen I ever knew in my life." 

" No doubt I should be much pleased with him ; but 
do you think he would feel himself much honoured or 
improved by an acquaintance with your father's collect- 
ing attorney V " 

" Why ! Is it possible that Rebecca Freeman has 
told you that ! I never will speak to her again. I am 
the most persecuted being upon earth. I can say no- 
thing nor do nothing, no matter how innocent, which 
some one does not make a handle of to injure me." 

Here Miss Evelina burst into tears, as usual ; but 
there being a little passion mingled with her tears on 
this occasion, her weeping was not quite as interesting 
as it had been before. It subdued George, however, 
and paved the way to a reconciliation. The obnoxious 
expression was explained, rather awkwardly, indeed, 
but satisfactorily ; and Miss Freeman was acquitted of 
all blame. 

Matters were just placed in this posture, when a ser- 
vant arrived to inform George " that something was the 
matter with his horse, and Mr. Cox (his landlord) 
thought he was going to die." 

George rose, and was hastening to the relief of his 
favourite of all quadrupeds, when Miss Smith burst into 
a very significant but affected laugh. 

" Why, what is it amuses you so, Evelina ?" inquired 
George, with some surprise. 

" Oh, nothing," said she ; " I was only thinking how 
quick Mr. Baldwin forgets me when his horse demands 


his attentions. I declare I'm right jealous of my 

" Go back, boy, and tell your master I can't come 
iust now ; but I'll thank him to do what he can for the 
poor animal." 

Mr. Cox, upon receiving this intelligence, and learn- 
ing the business which engrossed George's attention- 
left the horse to take care of himself; and he died just 
before George returned from Mr. Smith's. 

These, and a thousand little annoyances which we 
may not enumerate, urged upon George the importance 
of hastening the nuptials as speedily as possible. 

Accordingly, by all the dangers, ills, alarms, and 
anxieties which attend the hours of engagement, he 
pressed her to name the happy day within the coming 
month when their hearts and their destinies should be 
inseparably united. 

But " she could not think of getting married for two 
years yet to come ; then one year at least. At all 
events, she could not appoint a day until she consulted 
her dear Morgiana Cornelia Marsh, of Canaan, Ver- 
mont. Morgiana was her classmate, and, at parting 
in Philadelphia, they had interchanged pledges that 
which ever got married first should be waited upon by 
the other." 

In vain did George endeavour to persuade her that 
this was a school-girl pledge, which Morgiana had al- 
ready forgotten, and which she never would fulfil. His 
arguments only provoked a reproof of his unjust sus- 
picions of the "American fair." 

Finding his arguments here unavailing, he then en- 
treated his " charming Evelina" to write immediately 
to Miss Marsh, to know when it would be agreeable to 
her to fulfil her promise. 

Weeks rolled away before Miss Smith could be pre. 
vailed upon even to write the all-important letter. She 
despatched it at last, however ; and George began to 
entertain hopes that a few months would make the dear 
Evelina his own. 

In the mean time his business fell in arrears, and his 


clients complained loudly against him. He was inces- 
santly tortured with false rumours of his coldness and 
indifference towards Miss Smith, and of the light and 
disrespectful remarks which he had made upon, her ; 
but he was much more tortured by her unabated thirst 
for balls and parties of pleasure ; her undiminished 
love of general admiration, and the unconcealed encour- 
agement which she gave to the attentions of Dr. Bibb. 
The effect which these things had upon his temper was 
visible to all his friends. He became fretful, petulant, 
impatient, and melancholy. Dr. Bibb proved, in truth, 
to be a most accomplished, intelligent gentleman ; and 
was the man who, above all others, George would have 
selected for his friend and companion; had not the im- 
prudences of Evelina transformed him into a rival. As 
things were, however, his accomplishments only imbit- 
tered George's feelings towards him, provoked from 
George cruel, misplaced, and unnatural sarcasms, 
which the world placed to the account of jealousy, and 
in which George's conscience forced him to admit that 
the world did him nothing more nor less than sheer 

At length Miss Morgiana's letter arrived. It opened 
with expressions of deep contrition that the writer 
ei should have got married without giving her beloved 
Evelina an opportunity of fulfilling her promise ; but 
really, after all, she was not to blame ; for she did pro- 
pose to write to her beloved Evelina. to come on to 
Canaan : but papa and Mr. Huntington (her husband) 
would not hear to it ; indeed, they both got almost vex- 
^d that she should think of such a thing." * 

* * " But, as soon as my beloved 
Evelina gets married, she must appoint a time at which 
we can meet at Philadelphia with our husbands, and 
compare notes." * * * * * 

* " I have a thousand secrets to tell you 
about married life ; but I must reserve them till we 
meet. A thousand kisses to your clear George for me ; 
and tell him, if I were not a married woman, I should 
certainly fall in love with him, from your description 



" Well, I declare," said Evelina, as she folded up the 
letter, " I could not have believed that Morgiana would 
have served me so. I would have died before I would 
have treated her in the same way." 

The great obstacle being now removed, the wedding 
night was fixed at the shortest time that it could be to 
allow the necessary preparations, which was just three 
months ahead. 

Before these three months rolled away, George be 
came convinced that he had staked his earthly happiness 
upon the forlorn hope of reforming Miss Smith's errors 
after marriage ; but his sense of honour was too refined 
to permit him to harbour a thought of breaking the en- 
gagement ; and, indeed, so completely had he become 
enamoured of her, that any perils seemed preferable to 
giving her up for ever. 

He kept his parents faithfully advised of all the inci- 
dents of his love and courtship, and every letter which 
he forwarded went like a serpent into the Eden of peace 
over which they presided. Their letters to him never 
came unembalmed in a mother's tears, and were nev- 
er read without the tender response which a mother's 
tears ever draws from the eyes of a truly affectionate 

The night came, and George and Evelina were 

A round of bridal parties mcceeded, every one of 
which served only to heighten George's alarms and to 
depress his spirits. He could not discover that mar- 
riage had abated, in the smallest d gree, his wife's love 
of general admiration and flattery. The delight which 
she felt at the attentions of the young gentlemen was 
visible to more eyes than his, as was plainly evinced by 
the throngs which attended her wheresoever she moved. 
Occasionally their assiduities assumed a freedom which 
was well calculated to alarm and to inflame one whose 
notions of married life were much less refined than those 
which George had ever entertained ; but there was an 
apology for them, which he knew he would be forced 
to admit, flimsy as it was in truth, namely, "they 


were only those special attentions which were due to 
the queen of a bridal party." Another consideration 
forced him to look in silence upon those liberties. His 
vnfe had taken no offence at them. She either did not 
repel them at all, or she repelled them in such a good- 
humoured way, that she encouraged rather than pre- 
vented the repetition of them. For him, therefore, to 
have interposed, would have been considered an act of 

To the great delight of George, the parties ended, 
and the young couple set out on a visit to Lagrange, the 
residence of George's parents. On their way thither, 
Evelina was secluded, of course, from the gaze of eve- 
ry person but her husband ; and her attachment now be- 
came as much too ardent as it had before been too cold. 
If, at their stages, he left her for a moment, she was 
piqued at his coldness or distressed at his neglect. If 
he engaged in a conversation with an acquaintance or 
a stranger, he was sure to be interrupted by his wife's 
waiting-maid, Flora, with " Miss V'lina say, please go 
da, sir ;" and when he went, he always found her in 
tears or in a pet at having been neglected so long by 
him, " when he knew she had no friend or companion 
to entertain her but himself." 

George had been long acquainted with the ladies of 
the houses at which they stopped. They all esteemed 
him, and were all anxious to he made acquainted with 
his wife ; but she could not be drawn from her room, 
from the time she entered a house until she rose to leave 
it. All her meals were taken in her room ; and George 
was rebuked by her because he would not follow her 
example. It was in vain that he reasoned with her 
upon the impropriety of changing his deportment to 
his old acquaintances immediately after his marriage. 
He stated to her that the change would be attributed 
to pride ; that he should lose a number of humble but 
valuable acquaintances, which, to a professional gentle- 
man, is no small loss. But " she could not understand 
that a gentleman is at liberty to neglect his wife for 
• humble but valuable acquaintances.' " 


When they reached Lagrange, they received as warm 
a welcome from George's parents, as parents, labouring 
under their apprehensions, could give ; but Mary and 
Martha, having nothing to mar their pleasures (for they 
had not been permitted to know the qualifications which 
George's last letters had annexed to his first), received 
her with all the delight which the best hearts could feel, 
at welcoming to the family, in the character of a sister, 
the beautiful, amiable, accomplished, intelligent, weal- 
thy Miss Smith. In anticipation of -her coming, the 
girls had brushed up their history, philosophy, geogra- 
phy, astronomy, and botany, for her especial entertain- 
ment, or, rather, that they might appear a little at home 
when their new sister should invite them to a ramble 
over the fields of science. The labour answered not 
its purpose, however : Evelina would neither invite nor 
be. invited to any such rambles. 

The news of George's arrival at Lagrange with his 
wife brought many of his rustic acquaintances to visit 
him. To many of them George was as a son or a 
brother, for he had been acquainted with them from his 
earliest years, and he had a thousand times visited their 
habitations with the freedom with which he entered his> 
father's. They met him, therefore, with unrestrained 
familiarity, and treated his wife as a part of himself 
George had endeavoured to prepare her for the plain 
blunt, but honest familiarities of his early friends. He 
had assured her that, however rude they might seem, 
they were perfectly innocent ; nay, they were tokens ol 
guileless friendship ; for the natural disposition of plain 
unlettered farmers was to keep aloof from "the quality," 
as they called the people of the town, and that, by as 
much as they overcame this disposition, by so much did 
they mean to be understood as evincing favour ; but 
Evelina profited but little by his lessons. 

The first visiter was old Mr. Dawson, wno had 
dandled George on his knee a thousand times, and who 
next to his father, was the sincerest male friend thai 
George had living. 

" Well, Georgy," said the old man, " and you've got 
married ?" 


" Yes, Uncle Sammy, and here's my wife ; what do 
you think of her ?" 

" Why, she's a mighty pretty creater ; but you'd bet- 
ter took my Nance. She'd 'ave made you another sort 
of wife to this pretty little soft creater." 

" I don't know, sir," said Evelina, a little fiery, " how 
you can tell what sort of a wife a person will make 
whom you never saw. And I presume Mr. Baldwin is 
old enough to choose for himself." 

" Ah, well, now I know he'd better 'ave took my 
Nance," said the old man, with a dry smile. " Georgy, 
my son, I'm afraid you've got yourself into bad busi- 
ness ; but I wish you much happiness, my boy. Come, 
Neighbour Baldwin, let's go take a look at your farm." 

" Oh no," said old Mr. Baldwin, " we will not go till 
I make my daughter better acquainted with you. She 
is unused to our country manners, and, therefore, does 
not understand them. Evelina, my dear, Mr. Dawson 
is one of our best and kindest neighbours, and you and 
he must not break upon your first acquaintance. He 
was only joking George in what he said, and had no 
idea that you would take it seriously." 

" Well, sir," said Evelina, " if Mr. Dawson will say 
that he did not intend to wound my feelings, I'm willing 
to forgive him." 

" Oh, God love your pretty little soul of you," said 
the old man, " I didn't even know you had any feelings ; 
but as to the forgiving part, why, that's neither here 
nor there." Here-Evelina rose indignantly and left 
the room. 

" Well, Georgy, my son," continued the old man, 
" I'm sorry your wife's so touchy ! but you mustn't for- 
get old Daddy Dawson. Come, my boy, to our house, 
like you used to, when you, and Sammy, and Nancy 
used to sit round the bowl of buttermilk under the big 
oak that covered Mammy Dawson's dairy. I always 
think of poor Sammy when I see you" (brushing a tear 
from his eye with the back of his hand). " I'm obliged 
to love you, you young dog ; and I want to love your 
wife too, if she'd let me ; but, be that as it may, Sam- 



tny's playmate won't forget Daddy Dawson, will he, 

George could only say " Never !" with a filling eye, 
and the old men set out for the fields. 

Most of the neighbours who came to greet George 
upon his return to Lagrange shared Mr. Dawson's fate. 
One wanted to span Evelina's waist, for he declared 
" she was the littlest creater round the waist he ever 
seed." Another would " buss her, because she was 
George's wife, and because it was the first chance he 
ever had in all his life to buss ' the quality.' " A third 
proposed a swap of wives with George ; and all made 
some remark too blunt for Evelina's refined ear. Hav- 
ing no tact for turning off these things playfully, and 
as little disposition to do so, she repelled them with a 
town dignity, which soon relieved her of these in- 
trusions ; and iqAss than a week, stopped the visits 
of George's firsthand warmest friends to his father's 

Her habits, views, and feelings agreeing in nothing 
with the family in which she was placed, Evelina was 
unhappy herself, and made all around her unhappy. 
Her irregular hours of retiring and rising, her dilatori- 
ness in attending her meals, her continual complaints 
of indisposition, deranged all the regulations of the 
family, and begat such confusion in the household, that 
even the elder Mrs. Baldwin occasionally lost her equa- 
nimity ; so that, when Evelina announced, a week be- 
fore the appointed time, that she must return home, the 
intelligence was received with pleasure rather than 

Upon their return home, George and his lady found 
a commodious dwelling handsomely furnished for theii 
reception. Mr. Smith presented him this in lieu of the 
check of which he had spoken before the marriage of 
his daughter ; and though the gift did not redeem the 
promise by $14,000, George was perfectly satisfied. 
Mrs. Smith added to the donation her own cook and 
carriage-driver. Flora, the maid, had been considered 
Evelina's from her infancy. Nothing could have been 


more agreeable to George than the news that greeted 
him on his arrival, that he was at liberty to name the 
day when he would conduct Evelina to his own house ; 
for his last hope of happiness hung upon this last change 
of life. He allowed himself but two 'days after his re- 
turn to lay in his store of provisions ; and on the third, 
at four in the afternoon, he led his wife to their mutual 

" To this moment, my dear Evelina," said George, 
as they seated themselves in their own habitation, " to 
this moment have I looked forward for many months 
with the liveliest interest. I have often figured to my. 
self the happy hours that we should enjoy under the 
common roof, and I hope the hour has arrived when we 
will unite our endeavours to realize my fond anticipa- 
tions. Let us, then, upon the commencement of a new 
life, interchange our pledges that we. will each exert 
ourselves to promote the happiness^! the other. In 
many respects, it must be acknowledged that our 
views and dispositions are different ; but they will 
soon be assimilated by identity of interest, communi- 
ty of toil, and a frank and affectionate interchange of 
opinions, if we will but consent to submit to some lit- 
tle sacrifices in the beginning to attain this object. 
Now tell me, candidly and fearlessly, my Evelina, what 
would you have me be, and. what would you have me 
do, to answer your largest wishes from your hus- 
band ?" 

" I would have you," said Evelina, " think more of 
me than all the world beside ; I would have you the 
first lawyer in the state ; I would have you overcome 
your dislike to such innocent amusements as tea-par- 
ties and balls ; and I would have you take me to the 
Springs, or to New-York, or Philadelphia, every sum- 
mer. Now what would you have me do ?" 

" I would have you rise when I do ; regulate your 
servants with system ; see that they perform their du- 
ties in the proper way and the proper time ; let all pro- 
visions go through your hands ; and devote your spare 
time to reading valuable works, painting, music, or any 


other improving employment or innocent recreation. 
Be thus, and I ' will think more of you than all the world 
beside ;' < I will be the first lawyer in the state ; and, 
after a few years, 'you shall visit the North or the 
Springs every summer, if you desire it.' _ . 

" Lord, if I do all these things you mention, 1 shall 
have no time for reading, music, or painting." 

« Yes you will. My mother — " . 

» Oh for the Lord's sake, Mr. Baldwin, hush talking 
about your mother. I'm sick and tired of hearing you 
talk of < my mother' this, and ' my mother that ; and, 
when I went to your house, I didn't see that she got 
alono- a bit better than my mother, except in her cook- 
in* :°and that was only because your mother cooked 
the meats, and your sisters made the pastry. I don t 
see the use of having servants if one must do every. 

thins herself." , 

« My sisters make the pastry, to be sure ; because 
mother desires that they should learn how to do these 
things, that they may better superintend the doing ot 
them when they get married ; and because she thinks 
such things should not pass through the hands ot ser- 
vants when it can be avoided ; but my mother never 

cooks." ' _, ,»„ 

« She does, for I saw her lifting off a pot myself. 

" She does not — " 

Here the entry of the cook stopped a controversy 
that was becoming rather warm for the first evening at 

«I want the keys, Miss 'V'lina, to get out supper," 
said the cook. . . __, •.. , 

« There they are, aunt* Clary," said Evelina ; try 
and have everything very nice." 

« My dear, I wouldn't send her to the provisions un- 
attended : everything depends upon your commencing 

ng «Hush!" said Evelina, with some agitation; "I 

* Aunt" and " mauma," or " maum," its abbreviation, are terms of 
resoert commenced by children to aged negroes. The first gen- 
eXprevSn^he up country, and the second on the seaboard. 


wouldn't have her hear you for the world. She'd be 
very angry if she thought we suspected her honesty. 
Ma always gave her up the keys, and she says she 
never detected her in a theft in all her life." 
" Very well," said George, " we'll see." 
After a long waiting, the first supper made its ap 
pearance. It consisted of smoked tea, half-baked bis- 
cuit, butter, and sliced venison. 

" Why," said Evelina, as she sipped her first cup of 
tea, " this tea seems to me to be smoked. Here, Flora, 
throw it out and make some more. Oh me ! the bis- 
cuit an't done. Aunt Clary's made quite an unfortu- 
nate beginning. But I didn't want any supper — do 
you ?" 

" I can do without it," said George, coldly, " if you 

" Well, let's not eat any, and that will be the very 
way to mortify aunt Clary, without making her mad. 
To-morrow I'll laugh at her for cheating us out of our 
supper ; and she won't do so any more. The old crea- 
ture has very tender feelings." 

" I'll starve for a week to save Clary's feelings," said 
George, " if you will only quit aunting her. How can 
you expect her to treat you or your orders with respect, 
when you treat her as your superior?" 

" Well, really, I can't see any great harm in treat- 
ing aged people with respect, even if their skins are 

" I wish you had thought of that when you were 
talking to old Mr. Dawson. I should think he was en- 
titled to as much respect as an infernal black wench !" 
This was the harshest expression that had ever es 
caped George's lips. Evelina could not stand it. 
She left the room, threw herself on a bed, and bursl 
into tears. 

In the coui'se of the night the matter was adjusted. 

The next morning George rose with the sun, and ho 

tried to prevail upon his wife to do the same ; but "she 

could not see what was the use of her getting up so 

soon, just to set about doing nothing : and, to silence 


all farther importunities then and after upon that score, 
she told him flatly she never would consent to rise at 
that hour." 

At half after eight she made her appearance, and 
breakfast came in. It consisted of muddy coffee, hard- 
boiled eggs, and hard-burnt biscuit. 

" Why, what has got into aunt Clary," said Evelina - 
" that she cooks so badly !" 

" Why, we mortified her so much, my dear, by eat 
ing no supper," said George, " that we have driven hei 
to the opposite extreme. Let us now throw the break- 
fast upon her hands, except the coffee, and perhaps 
she'll be mortified back to a medium." 

" That's very witty, indeed," said Evelina ; " you 
must have learned it from the amiable and accomplish- 
ed Miss Nancy Dawson." 

This was an allusion which George could not with- 
stand ; and he reddened to scarlet. 

" Evelina," said he, " you are certainl}' the strangest 
being that I ever met with ; you are more respectful to 
negroes than whites, and to everybody else than your 

" Because," returned she, " negroes treat me with 
more respect than some whites ; and everybody else 
with more respect than my husband." 

George was reluctant to commence tightening the 
reins of discipline with his servants for the first few 
weeks of his mastership : and, therefore, he bore in 
silence, but in anger, their idleness, their insolence, 
and their disgusting familiarities with his wife. He 
often visited the kitchen, unobserved, of nights ; and 
almost always found it thronged with gay company, 
revelling in all the dainties of his closet, smokehouse, 
sideboard, and pantry. He communicated his dis- 
coveries to his wife, but she found no difficulty in 
accounting satisfactorily for all that he had seen. 
"Clary's husband had always supplied her with every- 
thing she wanted. Flora had a hundred ways of 
getting money ; and Billy (the carriage-driver) was 
always receiving little presents from her and others." 

106 the "charming creature" as a wife. 

At the' end of three weeks aunt Clary announced 
that the barrel of flour was out. 

" Now," said George, " I hope you are satisfied that 
it is upon your flour, and not upon her husband's, that 
aunt Clary gives her entertainments." 

" Why, law me !" said Evelina, " I think it has last- 
ed wonderfully. You recollect ma and pa have been 
here most every day." 

" Had they boarded with us," said George, " we 
could not have consumed a barrel of flour in three 

In quick succession came the news that the tea, cof- 
fee, and sugar were out ; all of which Evelina thought 
"had lasted wonderfully." 

It would be useless to recount the daily differences 
of George and his wife. In nothing could they agree ; 
and the consequence was, that, at the end of six weeks, 
they had come to downright quarrelling ; through all 
which Evelina sought and received the sympathy of 
Miss Flora and aunt Clary. 

About this time the Superior Court commenced its 
session in the city ; and a hundred like favours, receiv- 
ed from the judge and the bar, imposed upon George 
the absolute necessity of giving a dinner to his brethren. 
He used every precaution to pass it off" well. He gave 
his wife four days' notice ; he provided everything him- 
self, of the best that the town could afford ; he became 
all courtesy and affection to his wife, and all respect 
and cheerfulness to aunt Clary, in the interim. He 
promised all the servants a handsome present each if 
they would acquit themselves well upon this occasion 
and charged them all, over and over, to remember, 
that the time between two and half past three was all 
that the bar could allow to his entertainment ; and, 
consequently, dinner must be upon the table precisely 
at two. 

The day came and the company assembled. Eve- 
lina, attired like a queen, received them in the draw- 
ing-room, and all were delighted with her. All were 
cheerful, talkative, and happy. Two o'clock came 


and no dinner ; a quarter after, and no dinner. The 
conversation began to flag a little. Half past two roll- 
ed round, and no dinner. Conversation sunk to tem- 
perate, and George rose to intemperate. Three quar- 
ters past two came, but no dinner. Conversation sunk 
to freezing, and George rose to fever heat. 

At this interesting moment, while he was sauntering 
every way, George sauntered near his wife, who was 
deeply engaged in a conversation with his brother 
Paine, a grave, intelligent young man, and he detected 
her in the act of repeating, verbatim et literatim, the 
pretty sentences which first subdued his heart. 

" Good Lord !" muttered George to himself; " Jen- 
kinson, in the Vicar of Wakefield, with his one sentence 
of learning revived !" 

He rushed out of the room in order to inquire what 
delayed dinner ; and, on leaving the dining-room, was 
met at the door by Flora, with two pale-blue, dry, boil- 
ed fowls ; boiled almost to dismemberment, upon a 
dish large enough to contain a goodly-sized shote ; 
their legs sticking straight out, with a most undigni- 
fied straddle, and bowing with a bewitching grace and 
elasticity to George with every step that Flora made. 

Behind her followed Billy, with a prodigious roast 
turkey, upon a dish that was almost concealed by its 
contents, his legs extended like the fowls, the back and 
sides burned to a crisp, and the breast raw. The old 
gentleman was handsomely adorned with a large black 
twine necklace ; and through a spacious window that, 
by chance or design, the cook had left open, the light 
poured into his vacant cavity gloriously. 

George stood petrified at the sight ; nor did he wake 
from his stupor of amazement until he was roused by 
a burned round of beef and a raw leg of mutton making 
by him for the same port in which the fowls and tur- 
key had been moored. 

He rushed into the kitchen in a fury. " You infer- 
nal heifer !" said he to aunt Clary ; " what kind of 
cooking is this you're setting before my company ?" 

" Eh— eh ! Name o^God, Mas Gpor how any- 


body gwine cook ting good when you hurry 'em 

George looked for something to throw at her head, 
but fortunately found nothing. 

He returned to the house, and found his wife enter- 
taining the company with a never-ending sonata on the 

Dinner was at length announced, and an awful sight 
it was when full spread. George made as good apolo- 
gies as he could, but his wife was not in the least dis- 
concerted ; indeed, she seemed to assume an air of 
self-complaisance at the profusion and richness which 
crowned her board. 

The gentlemen ate but little, owing, as they said, to 
their having all eaten a very hearty breakfast that morn- 
ing. George followed his guests to the Courthouse, 
craved a continuance of his cases for the evening on 
the ground of indisposition, and it was granted, with an 
unaccountable display of sympathy. He returned 
home, and embarked in a quarrel with his wife, which 
lasted until Evelina's exhausted nature sunk to sleep 
unde" it, at three the next morning. 

George's whole character now became completely 
revolutionized. Universal gloom overspread his coun- 
tenance. He lost his spirits, his energy, his life, his 
temper, his everything ennobling ; and he had just be- 
gan to surrender himself to the bottle, when an acci- 
■ --""■"cfent occurred which revived his hopes of happiness 
with his wife, and determined him to make one more 
effort to bring her into his views. 

Mr. Smith, by an unfortunate investment in cotton, 
failed ; and, after a bungling attempt to secrete a few 
thousand dollars from his creditors (for he knew George 
too well to claim his assistance in such a matter), he 
was left without a dollar that dje could call his own. 
Evelina and her parents all seemed as if they would 
go crazy under the misfortune ; and George now as- 
sumed the most affectionate deportment to his wife, 
and the most soothing demeajpiur to her parents. The 
parents were completely wW to him ; and his wife. 


for once, seemed to feel towards him as she should. 
George availed himself of this moment to make an. 
other, and the last attempt, to reform her habits and 

" My dear Evelina," said he, " we have nothing now 
to look to but our own exertions for a support. This, 
and indeed affluence, lies within our reach, if we will 
but seek them in a proper way. You have only to use 
industry and care within doors, and I without, to place 
us, in a yery few years, above the frowns of fortune. 
We have only to consult each other's happiness to 
make each other happy. Come, then, my love, forget- 
ting our disgraceful bickerings, let us now commence 
a new life. ||JJelieve me, there is no being on this earth 
that my hegfrt can love as it can you, if you will but 
claim its affections ; and you know how to command 
them." Thus, at much greater length, and with much 
more tenderness, did George address her. His appeal 
had, for a season, its desired effect. Evelina rose with 
him, retired with him, read with him. She took charge 
of the keys, dealt out the stores with her own hand, 
visited the kitchen ; in short, she became everything 
George could wish or expect from one of her inex- 
perience. Things immediately wore a new aspect. 
George became himself again. He recommenced hi9 
studies with redoubled assiduity. The community 
saw and delighted in the change, and the bar began to 
tremble at his giant strides in his profession. But alas . 
his bliss was doomed to a short duration. Though 
Evelina saw, and felt, and acknowleged the advantages 
and blessings of her new course of conduct, she had to 
preserve it by a struggle against nature ; and, at the 
end of three months, nature triumphed over resolution, 
and she l-eTapseo'lnto her old habits. George now sur- 
rendered himself to drifik and to despair, and died the 
drunkard's death. At another time I may perhaps 
gtve'lhe melancholy account of his ruin in detail, tra- 
cing its consequences down to the moment at which I 
am now writing. Shou^i this time never arrive, let 
the fate of my poor nephew be a warning to mothers 


against bringing up their daughters to be " Charming 



In the year 1798 I resided in the city of Augusta, 
and, upon visiting- the market-house one morning in 
that year, my attention was called to the following no- 
tice, stuck upon one of the pillars of the building . 

" advurtysement. 

" Thos woo wish To be inform heareof, is heareof 
notyfide that edwd. Prator will giv a gander pullin, jis 
this side of harisburg, on Satterday of thes pressents 
munth to All woo mout wish to partak tharo£ 

" e Prator, thos wishin to purtak 
will cum yearly, as the pullin will begin soon. 

"e. p.'* 

If I am asked why "jis this side of harisburg" was 
selected for the promised feat instead of the city of 
Augusta, I answer from conjecture, but with some 
confidence, because the ground chosen was near the 
central point between four rival towns, the citizens o.f 
all which " mout wish to partak tharof;" namely, Au- * 
gusta, Springfield, Harrisburg, and Campbellton. No?. 
that each was the rival of all the others, but that the 
first and the last were competitors, and each of the 
others backed the pretensions of its nearest neighbour, 
Harrisburg sided with Campbellton, not because she 
had any interest in seeing the business of the two states 
centre upon the bank of the river, nearly opposite to her ; 
but because, like the " Union Democratic Republican 
Party of Georgia," she thought, after the adoption of 
the Federal Constitution, thakthe several towns of the 
confederacy should no longer be "separated" by the 


distinction of local party ; but that, laying down all 
former prejudices and jealousies as a sacrifice on the 
altar of their country, they should become united in a 
single body, for the maintenance of those principles 
which they deemed essential to the public welfare. 

Springfield, on the other hand, espoused the State 
Rights' creed. She admitted that, under the Federal 
Compact, she ought to love the sister states very much ; 
but that, under the Social Compact, she ought to love 
her own state a little more ; and she thought the two 
compacts perfectly reconcilable to each other. In- 
stead of the towns of the several states getting into 
single bodies to preserve the public welfare, her doc- 
trine was, that they should be kept in separate bodies 
to preserve the private toelfare. She admitted frank- 
ly, that, living, as she always had lived, right amid 
gullies, vapours, fogs, creeks, and lagoons, she was 
wholly incapable of comprehending that expansive 
kind of benevolence, which taught her to love people 
whom she knew nothing about, as much as her next- 
door neighbours and friends. Until, therefore, she 
should learn it from the practical operation of the 
Federal Compact, she would stick to the oldfashioned 
Scotch love, which she understood perfectly, and " go 
in'" for Augusta, live or die, hit or miss, right or 
wrong. As in the days of Mr. Jefferson, the Spring- 
field doctrines prevailed, Campbellton was literally 
nullified ; insomuch that, ten years ago, there was not 
a house left to mark the spot where once flourished 
this active, busy little village. Those who are curi- 
ous to know where Springfield stood at the time of 
which I am speaking, have only to take their position 
at the intersection of Broad and Marbury streets, in 
the city of Augusta, and they will be in the very heart 
of old Springfield. Sixty steps west, and as many 
east of this position, will measure the whole length of 
this Jeffersonian republican village, which never boasted 
of more than four dwelling-houses ; and Broad-street 
measures its width, if we exclude kitchens and stables. 
And, while upon this subject, since it has been predict- 


ed by a man for whose opinions I entertain the pro- 
foundest respect* (especially since the prediction), that 
my writings will be read with increased interest a 
hundred years to come ; and as I can see no good 
reason, if this be true, why they should not be read 
a thousand years hence with more interest, I will take 
the liberty of dropping a word here to the curious 
reader of the year 1933. He will certainly wish to 
know the site of Harrisburg (seeing it is doomed, at 
no distant period, to share the fate of Springfield) and 
of Campbelltori. 

Supposing, then, that if the great fire in Augusta, on 
the 3d of April, 1829, did not destroy that city, no- 
thing will ; I select this as a permanent object. 

In 1798, Campbell-street was the western verge ol 
Augusta, a limit to which it had advanced but a few 
years before, from Jackson-street. Thence to Spring, 
field led a large road, now built up on either side, and 
forming a continuation of Broad-street. This road 
was cut across obliquely by a deep gully, the bed of 
which was an almost impassable bog, which entered 
the road about one hundred yards below Collock-street 
on the south, and left it about thirty yards below Col- 
lock-street on the north side of now Broad-street. It 
was called Campbell's Gully, from the name of the 
gentleman through whose possessions and near whose 
dwelling it wound its way to the river. Following the 
direction of Broad-street from Springfield westward, 
1347 yards, will bring you to Harrisburg, which had 
nothing to boast of over Springfield but a warehouse 
for the storage of tobacco, then the staple of Georgia. 
Continue the same direction 700 yards, then face to 
your right hand, and follow your nose directly across 
Savannah river, and, upon ascending the opposite bank, 
you will be in the busiest part of Campbellton in 1798. 
Between Harrisburg and Springfield, and 1143 yards 
from the latter, there runs a stream which may be per- 
petual. At the time just mentioned, it flowed between 

* The Editor of the " Hickory Nut." 


banks twelve or fourteen feet high, and was then call- 
ed, as it still is, " Hawk's Gully."* 

Now Mr. Prator, like the most successful politician 
of the present day, was on all sides in a doubtful con- 
test ; and, accordingly, he laid off his gander-pulling 
ground on the nearest suitable unappropriated spot to 
the centre point between Springfield and Harrisburg. 
This was between Harrisburg and Hawk's Gully, to 
the south of the road, and embraced part of the road, 
but within 100 yards of Harrisburg. 

When " Satterday of thes pressents munth" rolled 
round, I determined to go to the gander-pulling. 
When I reached the spot, a considerable number of 
persons, of different ages, sexes, sizes, and complex- 
ions, had collected from the rival towns and the coun- 
try around. But few females were there, however ; 
and those few were from the lowest walks of life. 

A circular path of about forty yards diameter had 
already been laid out ; over which, from two posts 
about ten feet apart, stretched a rope, the middle of 
which was directly over the path. The rope hung 
loosely, so as to allow it, with the weight of a gander 
attached to it, to vibrate in an arc of four or five feet 
span, and so as to bring the breast of the gander within 
barely easy reach of a man of middle stature upon a 
horse of common size. 

A hat was now handed to such as wished to enter 
the list ; and they threw into it twenty-five cents each ; 
this sum was the victor's prize. 

The devoted gander was now produced ; and Mr. 
Prator, having first tied his feet together with a strong 
cord, proceeded to the neck-greasing. Abhorrent as it 
may be to all who respect the tenderer relations of 
life, Mrs. Prator had actually prepared a gourd of goose- 
grease for this very purpose. For myself, when I saw 
Ned dip his hands into the grease, and commence stro- 
king down the feathers from breast to head, my thoughts 

* It took its name from an old man by the name of Hawk, who 
lived in a log hut on a small knoll on the eastern side of the gully 
and about 100 yards south of the Harrisburg road. 


took a melancholy turn. They dwelt in sadness upon 
the many conjugal felicities which had probably been 
shared between the greasess and the greasee. I could 
see him as he stood by her side, through many a chilly 
day and cheerless night, when she was warming into 
life the offspring of their mutual loves, and repelled, 
with chivalrous spirit, every invasion of the consecra- 
ted spot which she had selected for her incubation. I 
could see him moving with patriarchal dignity by tha 
.dde of his loved one, at the head of a smiling, prattling 
group, the rich reward of their mutual care, to the lux- 
uries of the meadow or to the recreations of the pool. 
And now, alas ! an extract from the smoking sacrifice 
of his bosom friend was desecrated to the unholy pur. 
pose of making his neck " a fit object" for Cruelty to 
reach " her quick, unerring fingers at." Ye friends 
of the sacred tie ! judge what were my feelings when, 
in the midst of these reflections, the voice of James 
Prator thundered on mine ear, " Darn his old dodging 
soul ; brother Ned ! grease his neek till a fly can't 
light on it !" 

Ned, having fulfilled his brother Jim's request as 
well as he could, attached the victim of his cruelty to 
the rope r directly over the path. On each side of the 
gander was stationed a man, whose office it was to lash 
forward any horse which might linger there for a mo. 
ment ; for, by the rules of the ring, all pulling was to 
be done at a brisk canter. 

The word was now given for the competitors to 
mount and take their places on the ring. Eight ap- 
peared : Tall Zubley Zin, mounted upon Sally Spitfire ; 
Arch Odum, mounted on Bull and Ingons (onions) ; 
Nathan Perdew, on Hellcat ; James Dickson, on Nig- 
ger ; David Williams, on Gridiron ; Fat John Fulger, 
on Slouch ; Gorham Bostwick, on Gimlet ; and Tur- 
ner Hammond, on 'Possum. 

" Come, gentlemen,'''' said Commandant Prator, " fall 
in. All of you git behind one another, sort o' in a 

All came into the track very kindly but Sally Spit- 


fire and Gridiron. The former, as soon as she saw 
a general movement of horses, took it for granted there 
was mischief brewing, and, because she could not tell 
where it lay, she concluded it lay everywhere, and 
therefore took fright at everything. 

Gridiron was a grave horse ; but a suspicious eye 
which he cast to the right and left, wherever he moved, 
showed that " he was wide awake," and that " nobody 
better not go fooling with him," as his owner some- 
times used to say. He took a sober but rather intense 
view of things ; insomuch that, in his contemplations, 
he passed over the track three times before he could be 
prevailed upon to stop in it. He stopped at last, how. 
ever ; and when he was made to understand that this 
was all that was required of him for the present, he 
surrendered his suspicions at once, with a countenance 
which seemed plainly to say, " Oh, if this is all you 
want, I've no objection to it." 

It was long before Miss Spitfire could be prevailed 
upon to do the like. 

" Get another horse, Zube," ' said one ; " Sal will 
never do for a gander pullin." 

" I won't," said Zube. " If she won't do, I'll make 
her do. I want a nag that goes off with a spring ; so 
that, when I get a hold, she'll cut the neck in two like a 

At length Sally was rather flung than coaxed into 
the track, directly ahead of Gridiron. 

" Now, gentlemen," said the master of the ceremo- 
nies, " no man's to make a grab till all's been once 
round ; and when the first man are got round, then the 
whole twist and tucking of you grab away as you come 
under (" Look here, Jim Fulger ! you better not stand 
too close to that gander, I tell you"), one after another. 
Now blaze away !" (the command for an onset of every 
kind with people of this order). 

Off they went, Miss Sally delighted ; for she now 
thought the whole parade would end in nothing more 
nor less than her favourite amusement, a race. But 
Gridiron's visage pronounced this the most nonserv» ; - 


cal business that ever a horse of sense was engaged 
in since the world began. 

For the first three rounds Zubly was wholly occu- 
pied in restraining Sally to her place ; but he lost no- 
thing by this, for the gander had escaped unhurt. On 
completing his third round, Zube reached forth his long 
arm, grabbed the gander by the neck with a firmness 
which seemed likely to defy goose-grease, and, at the 
same instant, he involuntarily gave Salty a sudden 
check. She raised her head, which before had been 
kept nearly touching her leader's hocks, and for the 
first time saw the gander in the act of descending upon 
her ; at the same moment she received two pealing lash- 
es from the whippers. The way she now broke for 
Springfield " is nothing to nobody." As Zube dashed 
down the road, the whole Circus raised a whoop after 
him. This started about twenty dogs, hounds, curs, 
and pointers, in full chase of him (for no one moved 
without his dog in those days). The dogs alarmed 
some belled cattle, which were grazing on Zube's path, 
just as he reached them ; these joined him, with tails 
up and a tremendous rattling. Just beyond these went 
three tobacco-rollers, at distances of fifty and a hun- 
dred yards apart ; each of whom gave Zube a terrific 
whoop, scream, or yell as he passed. 

He went in and out of Hawk's Gully like a trapball, 
and was in Springfield " in less than no time." He^e 
he was encouraged onward by a new recruit of dogs J 
but they gave up the chase as hopeless before they 
cleared the village. Just beyond Springfield, what 
should Sally encounter but a flock of geese ! the tribe 
to which she owed all her misfortunes. She stopped 
suddenly, and Zube went over her head with the last 
acquired velocity. He was up in a moment, and the 
activity with which he pursued Sally satisfied every 
spectator that he was unhurt. i 

Gridiron, who had witnessed Miss Sally's treatment 
with astonishment and indignation, resolved not to pass 
between the posts until the whole matter should be 
explained to his satisfaction. He therefore stopped 


short, and, by very intelligible looks, demanded of the 
whippers whether, if he passed between them, he was 
to be treated as Miss Spitfire had been ? The whip. 
pers gave him no satisfaction, and his rider signified, 
by reiterated thumps of the heel, that he should go 
through whether he would or not. Of these, however, 
Gridiron seemed to know nothing. In the midst of 
the conference, Gridiron's eye lit upon the oscillating 
gander, and every moment's survey of it begat in him 
a growing interest, as his slowly rising head, suppress, 
ed breath, and projected ears plainly evinced. After 
a short examination, he heaved a sigh, and looked be- 
hind him to see if the way was clear. It was plain 
that his mind was now made up ; but, to satisfy the 
world that he would do nothing rashly, he took another 
view, and then wheeled and went for Harrisbug as if 
he had set in for a year's running. Nobody whooped 
at Gridiron, for all saw that his running was purely 
the result of philosophic deduction. The reader will 
not suppose all this consumed half the time which has 
been consumed in telling it, though it might have been 
so without interrupting the amusement ; for Miss Spit- 
fire's flight had completely suspended it for a time. 

The remaining competitors now went on with the 
eport* A few rounds showed plainly that Odum or 
Bostwick would be the victor ; but which, no one could 
tell. Whenever either of them came round, the gan- 
der's neck was sure of a severe wrench. Many a 
half pint of Jamaica was staked upon them, besides 
other things. The poor gander withstood many a 
strong pull before his wailings ceased. At length, 
however, they were hushed by' Odum. Then came 
Bostwick, and broke the neck. The next grasp of 
Odum, it was thought, would bear away the head ; but 
it did not. Then Bostwick was sure of it ; but he 
missed it. Now Odum must surely have it. All is 
interest and animation ; the horses sweep round with 
redoubled speed ; every eye is upon Odum ; his back- 
ers smiling, Bostwick's trembling. To the rope he 
comes ; lifts his hand ; when, lo ! Fat John Fulger had 


borne it away the second before. All were astonished, 
all disappointed, and some were vexed a little ; for it 
was now clear that, " if it hadn't o' been for his great, 
fat, greasy paw," to use their own language, " Odum 
would have gained the victory." Others cursed " that 
long-legged Zube Zin, who was so high he didn't know 
when his feet were cold, for bringing such a nag aa 
Sal Spitfire to a gander pullen ; for if he'd o' been in 
his place, it would o' flung Bostwick right where that 
gourd o' hog's lard (Fulger) was." 

Fulger's conduct was little calculated to reconcile 
them to their disappointment. 

" Come here, Neddy Prater," said he, with a tri- 
umphant smile ; " let your Uncle Johnny put his potato 
stealer (hand) into that hat, and tickle the chins of 
them are shiners a little ! Oh you little shining sons 
o' bitches ! walk into your Mas' Johnny's pocket, and 
jingle so as Arch Odum and Gory Bostwick may hear 
you ! You hear 'em, Gory 1 Boys, don't pull with 
men any more. I've jist got my hand in; I wish I had 
a pond full o' ganders here now, jist to show how I 
could make their heads fly. Bet all I've won, you 
may hang three upon that rope, and I'll set Slouch at 
full speed, and take off the heads of all three the first 
grab ; two with my hands and one with my teeth." 

Thus he went on, but really there was no boasting 
in all this ; it was all fun ; for John knew, and all were 
convinced that he knew, that his success was entirely 
the result of accident. John was really " a good-na- 
tured fellow," and his cavorting had an effect directly 
opposite to that which the reader would suppose it had ; 
it reconciled all to their disappointment save one. I 
except little Billy Mixen, of Spirit Creek ; who had 
staked the net proceeds of six quarts of huckleberries* 
upon Odum, which he had been long keeping for a safe 
bet. He could not be reconciled until he fretted him- 
self into a pretty little piney-woods fight, in which he 
got whipped ; and then he went home perfectly satis 

* I give them their Georgia name. I should hardly be understood 
if I called them whortleberries. 

THE BALL. 119 

Ged. Fulger spent all his winnings with Prator in 
treats to the company ; made most of them drunk, 
and thereby produced four Georgia rotations ;* after 
which all parted good friends. 



Being on a visit to the city of about ten 

years ago, my old friend, Jack De Bathle, gave me an 
invitation to a ball, of which he was one of the mana- 
gers. Jack had been the companion of my childhood, 
my boyhood, and my early manhood; and through 
many a merry dance had we hopped, and laughed, and 
tumbled down together in the morning of life. Dan- 
cing was really, in those days, a merry-making busi- 
ness. Except the minuet, which was introduced only 
to teach us the graces, and the congo, which was only 
to chase away the solemnities of the minuet, it was all 
a jovial, heart-stirring, foot-stirring amusement. We 
had none of your mathematical cotillons ; none of 
your immodest waltzes ; none of your detestable, dis- 
gusting gallopades. The waltz would have crimsoned 
the cheek of every young lady who attended a ball in 
my day ; and, had the gallopade been commenced in 
the ballroom, it would have been ended, in the street. 
I am happy to say that the waltz has met with but very 
little encouragement in Georgia as yet ; the gallopade 
with none. Ye fair of my native -land ! ye daughters 
of a modest race ! blush them away from the soil, 
which your mothers honoured by their example, and 
consecrated with their ashes. Born to woman's lofti- 

* I borrowed this term from Jim Inman at the time. " Why, 
Jim," said I to him, just as he rose from a fight, " what have you 
neen doing?" " Oh," said he, "nothing but taking a little rotation 
with Bob M'Manus." 

120 THE BALL. 

est destinies, it ill becomes you to stoop from your 
high estate to ape the indecencies of Europe's slaves. 
It is yours to command, not to obey. Let vice ap. 
proach you in what form she may — as the handmaid 
of wit and talents, the mistress of courts, or the queen 
of fashion — fail not to meet her with the frown of in- 
dignant virtue and the flush of offended modesty. 
There is a majesty in these which has ever command, 
ed her homage. There is a loveliness in these which 
will ever command the admiration of the world. The 
interest which I feel in the character of the fair daugh- 
ters of America is my apology for this sober digres- 

Though De Bathle is but two months younger than 
I am, he still dances occasionally ; and to this circum- 
stance in part, but more particularly to the circum- 
stance of his being a married man, is to be ascribed 
his appointment of manager ; the custom now being 
to have one third or one half the managers married 
men. This would be a great improvement on the man- 
agement of balls in olden time, could the married men 
only manage to keep out of the cardroom. Would 
they take the direction of the amusement into their 
hands, their junior colleagues would then have an op- 
portunity of sharing the pleasures of the evening, a 
privilege which they seldom enjoy as things are now 
conducted. However, married men are not appoint- 
ed with the expectation that they will perform the du- 
ties of the office ; but to quiet the scruples of some half 
dozen or more " charming creatures," who, though they 
never fail to attend a ball, will not condescend to do so 
until they are perfectly satisfied it is to be conducted 
with the utmost gravity, dignity, decorum, and proprie- 
ty. For these assurances they look first to " the face 
of the paper" (the ball-ticket) ; and if they do not find 
on it a goodly number of responsible names (such as, 
by reasonable presumption, are well broke to petticoat 
government), they protest against it ; tell a hundred 
amiable little fibs to conceal the cause of their opposi- 
tion ; torture two or three beaux half to death with 

THE BALL, 121 

suspense, and finally conclude to go "just to keep from 
giving offence." But if the endorsers be " potent, grave, 
and reverend seniors," schooled as aforesaid, why, then 
one difficulty is at least removed ; for though it is well 
known that these are " endorsers without recourse in 
the first instance," it is equally well known that they 
may be ultimately made liable ; for if the juniors fail 
to fulfil their engagements, a lady has nothing to do 
but to walk into the cardroom, take a senior by the 
nape of the neck, lead him into the ballroom, preseSnt 
her ticket with his name upon it in the presence of the 
witnesses there assembled, and she is sure of ample 

When De Bathle and I reached the ballroom, a large 
number of gentlemen had already assembled. They 
all seemed cheerful and happy. Some walked in coup, 
les up and down the ballroom, and talked with great 
volubility ; but neither of them understood a word that 
himself or his companion said. 

" Ah, sir, how do you know that ?" 

Because the speakers showed plainly by their looks 
and actions that their thoughts were running upon their 
own personal appearance, and upon the figure they 
would cut before the ladies when they should arrive, 
and not upon the subject of the discourse. And, fur- 
thermore, their conversation was like that of one talk- 
ing in his sleep ; without order, sense, or connexion. 
The hearer always made the speaker repeat in senten- 
ces and half sentences ; often interrupting him with 
" what ?" before he had proceeded three words in a 
remark ; and then laughed affectedly, as though he 
saw in the senseless, unfinished sentence a most excel- 
lent joke. Then would come his reply, which could 
not be forced into connexion with a word that he had 
heard ; and in the course of which he was treated with 
precisely the civility which he had received. And yet 
they kept up the conversation with lively interest as 
long as I listened to them. 

Others employed themselves in commenting good. 

122 THE BALL. 

humouredly upon each other's dresses and figure , 
while some took steps — awkwardly. 

In the mean time, the three junior managers mes 
and agreed upon the parts which they were to perform* 
Herein I thought they were unfortunate. To Mr. Flirt 
a bustling, fidgety, restless little man, about five feel 
two and a half inches high, was assigned the compara- 
tively easy task of making out and distributing the num- 
bers. Mr. Crouch, a good-humoured, sensible, but rath- 
er unpolished gentleman, undertook to attend the car- 
riages, and to transport their precious treasures to the 
ballroom, where Mr. Dupree was to receive them, and 
see to their safe keeping until the dancing commenced. 
The parts of the married men, up to the opening of the 
ball, was settled by common law. They were to keep 
a sharp look-out ; lend a helping hand in case of emer- 
gency ; drink plenty of wine ; see that other gentlemen, 
particularly strangers, did the same ; and, finally, to 
give any gentleman who might have come to the ball 
encumbered with a little loose change, an opportunity 
of relieving himself. 

Things were thus arranged, Crouch standing with a 
group of gentlemen, of which I was one, in the entry 
leading to the ballroom, when Mr. Flirt broke upon 
us as if the whole town was on fire, and all the ******* 
had risen, with, " Good God, Crouch ! there's Mrs. 
Mushy's carriage at the door, full of ladies, and not a 
manager there to receive them ! I'll swear it is too 
bad !" 

" Horrible !" said Crouch ; and away he went. 

But Mrs. Mushy, with Miss Feedle and Deedle, had 
reached the foot of the stairs unattended, before Crouch, 
or even Flirt, who was considerable in advance of him, 
met them. Mrs. Mushy, who was a lady of very full 
habit, looked huffishly as Flirt took her hand, and Miss 
Feedle and Miss Deedle blushed sarcastically ; Flirt 
made a hundred apologies, and Crouch looked first at 
Mrs. Mushy, then at Flirt, and tittered. " What a 
lovely figure Mrs. Mushy is !" said he, as he turned off 
from delivering his charge to Dupree. 

THE BALL. 123 

"Oh, Mr. Crouch," said Flirt, " if you begin making 
your fun of the ladies a'ready, we'd better break up 
the ball at once. By Heaven, it's a shame." 

" Upon my honour, Mr. Flirt," said Crouch, " I think 
she's beautiful. I always liked a light and airy figure, 
particularly for a ballroom." 

By this time Dupree had joined us. Flirt left us, 
obviously in a pet ; but we hardly missed him, before 
back he rushed from the ballroom, exclaiming, " Why, 
gracious Heavens, Dupree ! there are those three ladies 
sitting in the ballroom, and not a gentleman in the 
room to entertain them. Do go and introduce some of 
the gentlemen to them, if you please." 

" Flugens !" said Dupree, " what an oversight \' J 
and off he went for entertainers. After several inef- 
fectual attempts, he at length prevailed on Mr. Noo- 
zle and Mr. Boozle to be made acquainted with the 

Mr. N. seated himself to the right of Miss F., and 
Mr. B. to the left of Miss D. ; Mrs. M. occupying a 
seat between the girls, and looking, for all the world, 
as if she thought, " Well, this is the last ball I'll ever 
attend, unless it's a little better managed." But the 
young ladies looked like a May morning as soon as 
the gentlemen approached. After a pause of two min- 

" It's a very pleasant evening," said Mr. Noozle to 
Miss Feedle. 

" Delightful," said Miss Feedle to Mr. Noozle. 

" It's a delightful evening," said Miss Deedle to Mr. 

" Very pleasant," said Mr. Boozle to Miss Deedle. 

" I thought there were some married managers of 
the ball," said Mrs. Mushy, emphatically. Here en- 
sued a long pause. 

" Are you fond of dancing ?" said Mr. Noozle. 

"Ah ! what's that you say, Noozle?" said Boozle; 
" you are not fond of dancing ! Come, come, that'll 
never do. You tip the pigeon-wing too well for that." 

"You quite misapprehend me, sir," returned Mr. 

124 THfc BALL. 

Noozle. " Mine was not a declaration touching in tha 
remotest degree my personal predilections or antipa- 
thies, but a simple interrogatory to Miss Feedle. No, 
sir ; though I cannot lay claim to the proficiency of 
Noverre in the saltant art, I am, nevertheless, extrava- 
gantly fond of dancing ; too much so, I fear, for one 
who has but just commenced the v(gmti lucubrationes 
annorum, as that inimitable and fascinating expositor 
of the elements of British jurisprudence, Sir William 
Blackstone, observes. To reach these high attain- 
ments in forensic — " 

Here the young gentlemen were forced to resign 
their seats to a number of ladies who now entered the 

" What an intelligent young gentleman !" said Miss 
Feedle. "I declare I must set my cap for him." 

" I think the other much the most interesting of the 
two," said Miss Deedle. " He's too affected, and too 
fond of showing off his learning. What did he call 
that 'inimitable expositor?' Jinny Crashionis." 

The seats were soon filled with ladies ; almost all of 
whom (except Mrs. Mushy) entered the room in the 
same style, which seemed to have been strictly copied 
from the movement of the kildee. They took their 
seats with precisely the motion with which the school- 
girls in my younger days used to make " cheeses," as 
they called them, with their frocks. 

The musicians were all blacks, but neatly dressed. 
The band consisted of three performers on the violin, 
one on the clarinet, one on the tambourine, and one on 
the triangle. 

The ladies ceased coming, and nothing seemed now 
wanting to begin the amusement but the distribution of 
the numbers ; but Mr. Flirt was running up and down 
stairs every minute, after — no one knew what ; and 
with great anxiety — no one knew why. He would en- 
ter the room, look the ladies all over, then down he 
would go ; then return and go through the same evolu- 
tions. The band struck up a spirit-stirring tune, in 
which the tambourine player distinguished himself. 

THE BALL. 125 

For dignified complaisancy of countenance, under his 
own music, he rivalled Mr. Jenkins ; and he performed 
the rattlesnake note with his middle finger in a style 
which threw Miss Crump entirely in the shade. The 
band ceased, and the inquiry became general, M Why 
doesn't the drawing begin ?" but Mr. Flirt still kept up 
his anxious movements. 

" In the name of sense, Flirt," said Crouch, impa- 
tiently, as the little man was taking a third survey of 
the ladies, " what are you bobbing up and down stairs 
for ? Why don't you distribute the tickets ?" 

" Oh," said Flirt, " it's early yet. Let's wait for 
Miss Gilt and Miss Rino. 1 know they're coming, 
for Mr. Posey and Mr. Tulip told me they saw them 
dressed, and their carriages at the door, an hour ago." 

" Blast Miss Gilt and Miss Rino !" returned Crouch. 
" Is the whole company to be kept waiting for them ? 
Now, sir, if the tickets are not handed round in three 
minutes, I'll announce to the company that Mr. Flirt 
will permit no dancing until Miss Gilt and Miss Rino 
shall think proper to honour us with their presence." 

" Oh, zounds !" said Flirt, " I'm not waiting for them. 
I thought it was too early to begin the drawing. It's 
quite unfashionable in New. York to commence draw, 
ing before 9 o'clock." (Miss R.'s father was computed 
at a cool hundred and fifty, and Miss G.'s at a round 
hundred thousand.) 

In a few minutes the tickets were distributed, and 
Mr. Flirt proceeded to call, " No. 1— First Cotillon" 
with most imposing majesty. Then numbers 2^.3, 
and 4 of the same ; then No. 1, of the second, and 
so on. 

Five sets of cotillons could occupy the floor at a 
time ; and Flirt had just called No. 2 of the fifth, 
when Miss Rino entered the room, and immediately 
afterward Miss Gilt. Flirt had put two supernume- 
rary tickets in the hat, in anticipation of their coming ; 
and, forgetting everything else, he suspended the call- 
ing, and rushed to deliver them, as soon as the ladies 
made their appearance. 


126 THE BALL. 

He went to Miss Rino first, as she entered first 
but she was obviously piqued at seeing the sets on the 
floor before her arrival. She refused to take a num- 
ber ; declaring (very sweetly) that she left home with 
no idea of dancing. Flirt insisted, earnestly and pret- 
tily, upon her taking a number ; but she hesitated 
looked in the hat, then looked at Flirt bewitchingly, 
and declared she did not wish to dance. 

In the mean time Miss Gilt began to feel herself 
slighted, and she said, in a pretty audible tone, " As 
for her part, she would like very well to draw a num- 
ber if she could be permitted to do so." Several gen- 
tlemen who had gathered around her hastened to Flirt 
to remind him of the indignity which he was offering 
to Miss Gilt ; but, before they reached him, Miss Rino 
drew No. 3 of the fifth cotillon from the hat. 

Unfortunately, Crouch's patience had worn out just 
before Miss R. made up her mind to take a ticket ; and 
he took the office which Flirt had abdicated. He call- 
ed No. 3 twice, but the call was not responded to. 
He then called No. 4, when Miss Jones appeared and 
took her place. He next called No. 1 of the sixth 
set, when a lady appeared, which completed the cotil- 
lon. The last lady had but just taken her place, when 
Miss Rino, led on by Mr. Noozle, advanced, and an- 
nounced that hers was No. 3 of the fifth set. Miss 
Jones was instinctively retiring from the august pres- 
ence of Miss Rino, when she was stopped by Crouch, 
with, " Keep you? place, Miss Jones ; I think you are 
entitled to it." 

" Isn't this No. 3 of the fifth cotillon ?" said Miss 
Rino, holding out her ticket to Mr. Crouch. 

" Yes, miss," said Crouch, " but I think it has for- 
feited its place. Indeed, I do not think it was even 
drawn when Miss Jones took her place." 

This drew from Miss Rino the expression of coun- 
tenance which immediately precedes a sneeze. 

" Upon every principle of equity and justice," said 
Mr. Boozle. " Miss Rino is entitled to — " 

" Music !" said Crouch. 

THE BALL. 127 

" Hands round !" said the fiddler ; and the whole 
band struck into something like " The Dead March." 

" This matter shall not end here," said Noozle, as 
he led Miss Rino back to her seat. 

" Oh, Mr. Noozle," returned Miss Rino, " don't 
think anything of it. T declare I had not the least 
wish in the world to dance. Surely you would not 
object to anything the polite and accomplished Mr. 
Crouch would do !" 

Noozle walked fbe floor in portentous abstraction, 
wiped his face with terrific emphasis, and knocked his 
hair back with the slap belligerant. 

The ladies who were not dancing became alarmed 
and sedate (Miss Gilt excepted) ; the gentlemen col- 
lected in groups, and carried on an animated conver- 
sation. As all but myself, who could give a correct 
version of the affair, were engaged in the dance, the 
Noozle party had gained over to their side most of 
the company present before the dance ended. After 
various inquiries, rumours, and corrections, the com- 
pany generally settled down upon the following state- 
ment, as confirmed by the joint testimony of Rino., 
Flirt, and Noozle. 

" Crouch had an old spite against Miss Rino for no- 
thing at all ; began cursing and abusing her because 
she was not the first lady in the room ; refused to wait 
two minutes for her arrival ; as soon as he saw her 
enter the ballroom, u/surped Mr. Flirt's appointment, 
and commenced calling the numbers on purpose to 
cut her out. She, seeing his object, snatched up a 
number and rushed to her place ; but it was occupied 
by Miss Jones ; who, seeing the superiority of her 
claims, offered to give way, and was actually reti- 
ring, when Crouch seized her by the arm, jerked her 
back, and said, ' Keep your place, miss ! You're en- 
titled to it, if Miss Rino has got the numher ; and you 
shall have iV And when Mr. Noozle was pleading 
with him just to look at Miss Rino's ticket, he just 
turned upon his heel and called for the music." This 
was all reported to Crouch, as confirmed by the trio 

128 THE BALL. 

before mentioned. -He pronounced it all an infamous 
lie, from beginning to end, and was with difficulty re- 
strained from going immediately after Flirt, to pick 
him up, as he said, and wear him out upon Noozle. 

As soon as the first cotillon ended, the Crouch party 
began to gain ground ; but not without warm words 
between several gentlemen, and a general depression 
of spirits through the company. 

The dancing of the ladies was, with few exceptions, 
much after the same fashiono I found not the least 
difficulty in resolving it into the three motions of a 
turkey-cock strutting, a sparrow-hawk lighting, and a 
duck walking. Let the reader suppose a lady begin- 
ning a strut at her own place, and ending it (precisely 
as does the turkey-cock) three feet nearer the gentle- 
man opposite her ; then giving three sparrow-hawk 
bobs, and then waddling back to her place like a duck ; 
and he will have a pretty correct idea of their dan. 
cing. Not that the three movements were blended at 
every turn of the dance, but that one or more of the 
three answered to every turn. The strut prevailed 
most in balancing ; the bobs, when balanced to ; and 
the waddle, when going round. To all this Mrs. 
Mushy was an exception. When she danced, every 
particle of her danced, in spite of herself. 

There was as little variety in the gentlemen's dan- 
cing as there was in the ladies'. Any one who has 
seen a gentleman clean mud off his shoes on a door 
mat, has seen nearly all of it ; the principal difference 
being, that some scraped with a pull of the foot, some 
with a push, and some with both. 

" I suppose," said I to a gentleman, " they take no 
steps because the music will not admit of them?" 

" Oh no," said he ; " it's quite ungenteel to take 
steps." I thought of the wag's remarks about Miss 
Crump's music. " If this be their dancing," thought I, 
" what must their mourning be !" 

A splendid supper was prepared at twelve o'clock ; 
and the young ladies ate almonds, raisins, apples, oran. 
ges, jelly, sillabub, custard, candy, sugar-plums, kisses 

THE BALL. 129 

and cake, as if they had been owing them an old 
grudge. But the married gentlemen did not come up f 
to supper. 

" And how did the quarrel end ?" 

" Oh ; I had like to have forgot the denouement of the 

A correspondence opened the next morning between 
the parties, in which Noozle was diffuse and Crouch la- 
conic. They once came this near an amicable adjust- 
ment of the difference. Noozle's second (for the fash- 
ion is, for the principals to get into quarrels, and for the 
seconds to get them out) agreed, if Crouch would strike 
the word "it" out of one of his letters, his friend would 
be perfectly satisfied. 

Mr. Crouch's second admitted that the removal of the 
word would not change the sense of the letter the least ; 
but that Mr. Crouch, having put his life and character 
in his hands, he felt bound to protect them with the most 
scrupulous fidelity ; he could not, therefore, consent to 
expunge the objectionable word, unless the challenge 
were withdrawn. To show, however, his reluctance to 
the shedding of blood, and to acquit his friend, in the 
eyes of the public, of all blame, he would take it upon 
himself to say, that if Mr. Noozle would withdraw his 
objections to the " t," Mr. Crouch should expunge the 
"i." This proposition was rejected ; but, in return, it 
was submitted, that if Mr. Crouch would expunge the 
" t," the " i" might remain. To which it was replied, 
that the alteration would convert the whole sentence 
into nonsence ; making it read " i is" instead of " it 
is," &c. Here the seconds separated, and soon after 
the principals met ; and Crouch shot Noozle, in due 
form and according to the latest fashion, through the 
knees. I went to see him after he had received his 
wound ; and, poor fellow, he suffered dreadful tor- 
tures. . So much, said I, for a young lady's lingering 
from a ball an hour too long, in order to make herself 




Whence comes the gibberish which is almost inva. 
riably used by mothers and nurses to infants 1 Take, 
for example, the following, which will answer the two- 
fold purpose of illustrating my idea and of exhibiting 
one of the peculiarities of the age. 

A few days ago I called to spend an hour in the 
afternoon with Mr. Slang, whose wife is the mother 
of a child about eight months old. 

While I was there, the child in the nurse's arms, in 
an adjoining room, began to cry. 

"You Rose," said Mrs. Slang, "quiet that child!" 
Rose walked with it, and sang to it, but it did not hush. 

" You Rose ! if you do not quiet that child, I lay I 
make you."' . 

" I is tried, ma'am," said Rose, " an' he wouldn't get 
hushed." {Child cries louder.) 

" Fetch him to me, you good-for-nothing hussy you. 
What's the matter with him ?" reaching out her arms 
to receive him. 

" I dun know, ma'am." 

" Nhei — nhun — nho — nha'am !" (mocking and grin, 
ning at Rose.) 

As Rose delivered the child, she gave visible signs 
of dodging just as the child left her arms ; and, that 
she might not be disappointed, Mrs. Slang gave her 
a box, in which there seemed to be no anger mixed at 
all, and which Rose received as a matter of course, 
without even changing countenance under it. 

" Da den !" said Mrs. Slang ; " come elonge muddy 
(mother). Did nassy Yosey (Rose) pague muddy 
thweety chilluns !" (children) — pressing the child to her 
bosom, and rocking it backward and forward tender- 
ly. " Muddins will whippy ole nassy Yosey. Ah ! 
you old uggy Yosey !" (knocking at Rose playfully.) 


"Da den; muddy did whippy bad Yosey." {Child 
continues crying.} 

" Why, what upon earth ails the child ? Rose, you've 
hurt this child somehow or other !" 

" No, ma'am, 'cla' I didn't ; I was just sitt'n down 
dar in the rock'n-chair 'long side o' Miss Nancy's bu- 
reau, an' wa'n't doin' noth'n' 't all to him, jis playin' 
wid him, and he jis begin to cry heself, when nobody 
wa'n't doin' nothin' 't all to him, and nobody wa'n't in 
dar nuther sept jis me and him, and I was — " 

" Nhing — nhing — hiring — and I expect you hit his 
head against the bureau." 

" Let muddy see where ole bad Yosey knocky heady 
'gin de bureaus. Muddy vjill see," taking off the 
child's cap, and finding nothing. (Child cries on.) 

" Muddy's baby was hongry. Dat was what ails 
muddy's darling, thweety ones. Was cho hongry, an' 
nobody would givy litty darling any sings 't all for eaty V 
{loosing her frock bosom.) " No, nobody would gim 
thweety ones any sings fo' eat 't all." (Offers the 
breast to the child, toho rejects it, rolls over, kicks, and 
screams worse than ever.) 

" Hush ! you little brat ! I believe it's nothing in the 
world but crossness. Hush !" (shaking it), " hush, I tell 
you." (Child cries to the ne plus ultra.) 

" Why surely a pin must stick the child. Yes, was 
e bad pin did ticky chilluns. Let muddy see where de 
uggy pin did ticky dear prettous creter" (examining). 
" Why no, it isn't a pin. Why what can be the matter 
with the child ! It must have the cholic, surely. Rose, 
go bring me the paregoric off the mantelpiece. Yes, 
muddy's baby did hab e tolic. Dat was what did ail 
muddy's prettous darly baby." (Pressing it to her 
bosom, and rocldng it. Child cries on.) 

Rose brought the paregoric, handed it, dodged, and 
got her expectations realized as before. 

" Now go bring me the sugar, and some water." 

Rose brought them, and delivered both without the 
customary reward ; for at that instant, the child, being 
laid perfectly still on the lap, hushed. 


The paregoric was administered, and the child re- 
ceived it with only a whimper now and then. As soon 
as it received the medicine, the mother raised it up and 
it began to cry.. 

" Why, Lord help my soul, what's the matter with 
the child ! What have you done to him, you little hus- 
sy 7" (rising and walking towards Rose.) 

" 'Cla,' missis, I eint done noth'n' 't all ; was jis sit- 
tin' down da by Miss Nancy's bu — " 

" You lie, you slut" (hitting her a passing slap), " 1 
know you've hurt him. Hush, my baby" (singing the 
Coquet), " don't you cry, your sweetheart will come 
by'm'by ; da de dum dum dum day, da de dum diddle 
dum dum day." (Child cries on.) 

" Lord help my soul and body, what can be the mat- 
ter with my baby !" (tears coming in her own eyes.) 
" Something's the matter with it, I know it is" (lay- 
ing the child on her lap, and feeling its arms, to see 
whether it flinched at the touch of any particular part). 
But the child cried less while she was feeling it than 

" Yes, dat was it ; wanted litty arms yubb'd. Mud 
Will yub its sweet little arms." (Child begins again.) 

" What upon earth can make my baby cry so !" ri- 
sing and walking to the window. (Stops at-the win- 
dow, and the child hushes.) 

" Yes, dat was it : did want to look out 'e windys. 
See the petty chickens. O-o-o-h ! look at the beauty, 
rooster ! ! Yonder's old aunt Betty ! See old aunt 
Betty, pickin' up chips. Yes, ole aunt Betty, pickin' up 
chip fo' bake bicky (biscuit) fo' good chilluns. Good 
aunt Betty fo' make bicky fo' sweet baby's supper." 
(Child begins again.) 

"Hoo-o-o! see de windy!" (knocking on the win. 
dou). Child screams.) 

" You Rose, what have you done to this child ! You 
ittle hussy you, if you don't tell me how you hurt him, 
I'll whip you as long as I can find you." 

" Missis, I 'cla' I never done noth'n' 't all to him. I 
was jis sett'n' down da by Miss Nancy's bu — " 


-' If you say ' Miss Nancy' 's bureau 1 to me again, I'll 
stun Miss Nancy's bureau down your throat, you little 
lying slut. I'm just as sure you've hurt him as if I'd 
seen you. How did you hurt him V 

Here Rose was reduced to a non plus ; for, upon the 
peril of having a bureau stuffed down her throat, sha 
dare not repeat the oft-told tale, and she knew no oth- 
er. She therefore stood mute. 

" Julia," said Mr. Slang, M bring the child to me, ani 
let me see if I can discover the cause of his crying/ 

Mr. Slang took the child, and commenced a carefu 
examination of it. He removed its cap, and beginning 
at the crown of its head, he extended the search slow- 
ly and cautiously downward, accompanying the eye 
with the touch of the finger. He had not proceeded 
far in this way, before he discovered in the right ear 
of the child a small feather, the cause, of course, of all 
its wailing. The cause removed, the child soon chan- 
ged its tears to smiles, greatly to the delight of all, and 
to none more than to Rose. 



The following is not strictly a " Georgia Scene ;" 
but, as Georgians were the chief actors in it, it may per- 
haps be introduced with propriety in these sketches. 

About three-and-twenty years ago, at the celebra 

ted school in W n, was formed a Debating So- 

ciety, composed of young gentlemen between the ages 
of seventeen and twenty-two. Of the number were 
two, who, rather from uncommon volubility than from 
any superior gifts or acquirements which they possess- 
ed over their associates, were, by common consent, 
placed at the head of the fraternity. At least this was 
true of one of them : the other certainly had higher 


claims to his distinction. He was a man of the high- 
est order of intellect, who, though he has since been 
known throughout the Union as one of the ablest 
speakers in the country, seems to me to have added 
but little to his powers in debate since he passed his 
twenty-second year. The name of the first was Long. 
worth, and M'Dermot was the name of the last. They 
were congenial spirits, warm friends, and classmates 
at the time of which I am speaking. 

It was a rule of the society, that every member 
should speak upon the subjects chosen for discussion, 
or pay a fine ; and as all the members valued the lit- 
tle stock of change with which they were furnished 
more than they did their reputation for oratory, not a 
fine had been imposed for a breach of this rule from 
the organization of the society to this time. 

The subjects for discussion were proposed by the 
members and selected by the president, whose prerog- 
ative it was also to arrange the speakers on either side 
at his pleasure ; though, in selecting the subjects, he 
was influenced not a little by the members, who gave 
their opinions freely of those which were offered. 

It was just as the time was approaching when most 
of the members were to leave the society, some for 
college, and gome for the busy scenes of life, that 
M'Dermot went to share his classmate's bed for a 
night. In the course of the evening's conversation, 
tne society came upon the tapis. " Mac," said Long- 
worth, " wouldn't we have rare sport if we could im- 
pose a subject upon the society which has no sense in 
it, and hear the members speak upon it ?" 

" Zounds," said M'Dermot, " it would be the finest 
fun in the world. Let's try it, at all events ; we can 
lose nothing by the experiment." 

A sheet of foolscap was immediately divided be- 
tween them, and they industriously commenced the 
difficult task of framing sentences, which should pos- 
sess the form of a debatable question, without a parti- 
cle of the substance. After an hour's toil, they at 
length exhibited the fruits of their laboux*, and, after 


some reflection and much laughing, they selected from 
about thirty subjects proposed, the following, as most 
likely to be received by the society : 

" Whether, at public elections, should the 
votes of faction predominate by internal sug- 
gestions or the bias of jurisprudence?" 

Longworth was to p pose it to the society, and 
M ; Dermot was to advocate its adoption. As they 
had every reason to suppose, from the practice of the 
past, that they would be placed at the head of the 
list of disputants, and on opposite sides, it was agreed 
between them, in case the experiment should suc- 
ceed, that they would write off and interchange their 
speeches, in order that each might quote literally from 
the other, and thus seem, at least, to understand each 

The day at length came for the triumph or defeat of 
the project ; and several accidental circumstances con- 
spired to crown it with success. The society had en- 
tirely exhausted their subjects ; the discussion of the 
day had been protracted to an unusual length, and the 
horns of the several boarding-houses began to sound 
just as it ended. It was at this auspicious moment 
that Longworth rose and proposed his subject. It 
was caught at with rapture by M'Dermot, as being 
decidedly the best that had ever been submitted ; and 
he wondered that none of the members had never 
thought of it before. 

It was no sooner proposed, than several members 
exclaimed that they did not understand it ; and de- 
manded an explanation from the mover. Longworth 
replied that there was no time then for explanations, 
but that either himself or Mr. M'Dermot would explain 
it at any other time. 

Upon the credit of the maker and endorser, the sub- 
ject was $pcepted ; and, under pretence of economi- 
zing time (but really to avoid a repetition of the ques- 
tion), Longworth kindly offered to record it for the 
secretary. This labour ended, he announced that he 
was prepared for the arrangement of the disputants. 


" Put yourself," said the president, " on the affirma. 
tive, and Mr. M'Dermot on the negative." 

" The subject," isaid Longworth, " cannot well be 
resolved into an affirmative and negative. It consists, 
more properly, of two conflicting affirmatives ; I have 
therefore drawn out the heads under which the speak- 
ers are to be arranged, thus : 

" Internal Suggestions. Bias of Jurisprudence." 

" Then put yourself Internal Suggestions, Mr. M'Der 
mot the other side ; Mr. Craig on your side, Mr. Pen. 
tigall the other side," and so on. 

M'Dermot and Longworth now determined that they 
would not be seen by any other member of the society 
during the succeeding week, except at times when ex 
planations could not be asked, or when they were too 
busy to give them. Consequently, the week passed 
away without any explanations ; and the members 
were summoned to dispose of the important subject, 
with no other lights upon it than those which they 
could collect from its terms. When they assembled, 
there was manifest alarm on the countenances of all 
but two of them. 

The society was opened in due form, and Mr. Long* 
worth was called on to open the debate. He rose and 
proceeded as follows : 

" Mr. President — The subject selected for this day's 
discussion is one of vast importance, pervading the 
profound depths of psychology, and embracing within 
its comprehensive range all that is interesting in mor- 
als, government, law, and politics. But, sir, I shall 
not follow it through all its interesting and diversified 
ramifications, but endeavour to deduce from it those 
great and fundamental principles, which have direct 
bearing upon the antagonist positions of the dispu- 
tants ; confining myself more immediately to its psy- 
chological influence, when exerted, especially upon the 
votes of faction: for here is the point upon which the 
question mainly turns. In the next place, I shall con- 
sider the effects of those 'suggestions' emphatically 


termed ' internaV when applied to the same subject. 
And, in the third place, I shall compare these effects 
with ' the bias of jurisprudence,' considered as the only 
resort in times of popular excitement ; for these are 
supposed to exist by the very terms of the question. 

" The first head of this arrangement, and indeed the 
whole subject of dispute, has already been disposed 
of by this society. We have discussed the question, 
' Are there any innate maxims ?' and with that subject 
and this there is such an intimate affinity, that it is 
impossible to disunite them, without prostrating the 
vitai energies of both, and introducing the wildest dis- 
order and confusion, where, by the very nature of 
things, there exists the most harmonious coincidences 
and the most happy and euphonic congenialities. 
Here then might I rest, Mr. President, upon the decis- 
ion of this society with perfect confidence. But, sir, 
I am not forced to rely upon the inseparable affinities 
of the two questions for success in this dispute, obvi- 
ous as they must be to every reflecting mind. All 
history, ancient and modern, furnish examples corrob- 
orative of the views which I have taken of this deeply 
interesting subject. By what means did the renowned 
poets, philosophers, orators, and statesmen of antiquity 
gain their immortality 1 Whence did Milton, Shaks- 
peare, Newton, Locke, Watts, Paley, Burke, Chatham, 
Pitt, Fox, and a host of others whom I might name, 
pluck their never-fading laurels ? I answer boldly., 
and without the fear of contradiction, that, though they 
all reached the temple of Fame by different routes, 
they all passed through the broad vista of ' internal 
suggestions.'' The same may be said of Jefferson, 
Madison, and many other distinguished personages of 
our own country. 

" I challenge the gentlemen on the other side to pro- 
duce examples like these in support of their cause." 

Mr. Longworth pressed these profound and logical 

views to a length to which our limits will not permit 

us to follow him, and which the reader's patience would 

hardly bear, if they would. Perhaps, however, he will 



bear with us while we give the conclusion of Mr. Long- 
worth's remarks : as it was here that he put forth all 
his strength : 

"Mr. President — Let the bias of jurisprudence pre- 
dominate, and how is it possible (considering it mere- 
ly as extending to those impulses which may with prb- 
priety be termed a bias), how is it possible for a gov- 
ernment to exist whose object is the public good ! The 
marble -hearted marauder might seize the throne of 
civil authority, and hurl into thraldom the votaries of 
rational liberty. Virtue, justice, and all the nobler 
principles of human nature would wither away under 
the pestilential breath of political faction, and an un- 
nerved constitution be left to the sport of demagogue 
and parasite. Crash after crash would be heard in 
quick succession, as the strong pillars of the republic 
give wa} r , and Despotism would shout in hellish triumph 
amid the crumbling ruins. Anarchy would wave her 
bloody sceptre over the devoted land, and the blood- 
hounds of civil war would lap the crimson gore of our 
most worthy citizens. The shrieks of women and the 
screams of children would be drowned amid the clash of 
swords and the cannon's peal : and Liberty, mantling 
her face from the horrid scene, would spread her gol- 
den-tinted pinions, and wing her flight to some far-dis- 
tant land, never again to revisit our peaceful shores. 
In vain should we then sigh for the beatific reign of 
those ' suggestions' which I am proud to acknowledge 
as peculiarly and exclusively ' internal.' " 

Mr. M'Dermot rose promptly at the call of the pres- 
ident, and proceeded as follows : 

" Mr. President — If I listened unmoved to the very 
laboured appeal to the passions which has just been 
made, it was not because I am insensible to the pow- 
ers of eloquence ; but because I happen to be blessed 
with the small measure of sense which is necessary to 
distinguish true eloquence from the wild ravings of an 
unbridled imagination. Grave and solemn appeals, 
when ill-timed and misplaced, are apt to excite ridi- 
cule : hence it was that I detected myself more than 


once in open laughter during the most pathetic parts 
of Mr. Longworth's argument, if so it can be called.* 
In the midst of ' crashing pillars,' ' crumbling ruins,' 
'• shouting despotism,' ' screaming women,' and ' flying 
Liberty,' the question was perpetually recurring to me, 
what lias all this to do with the subject of dispute ? I 
will not follow the example of that gentleman. It shall 
be my endeavour to clear away the mist which he has 
thrown around the subject, and to place it before the 
society in a clear, intelligible point of view : for I must 
say, that, though his speech ' bears strong marks of the 
pen'' (sarcastically), it has but few marks of sober reflec- 
tion. Some of it, I confess, is very intelligible and very 
plausible ; but most of it, I boldly assert, no man liv- 
ing can comprehend. I mention this for the edification 
of that gentleman (who is usually clear and forcible), 
to teach him that he is most successful when he la- 
bours least. 

" Mr. President — The gentleman, in opening the de- 
bate, stated that the question was one of vast impor- 
tance ; pervading the profound depths of gsycliology, 
and embracing within its ample range the whole cir- 
cle of arts and sciences. And really, sir, he has veri- 
fied his statement ; for he has extended it over the 
whole moral and physical world.' But, Mr. President, 
I take leave to differ from the gentleman at the very 
threshold of his remarks. The subject is one which is 
confined within very narrow limits. It extends no far- 
ther than to the elective franchise, and is not even 
commensurate with this important privilege : for it 
stops short at the vote of faction. In this point of light 
the subject comes within the grasp of the most common 
intellect : it is plain, simple, natural, and intelligible. 
Thus viewing it, Mr. President, where does the gen- 
tleman find in it, or in all nature besides, the original 
of the dismal picture which he has presented to the so- 
ciety 1 It loses all its interest, and becomes supremely 
ridiculous. Having thus, Mr. President, invested the 

* Ti ; s was extemporaneous, and well conceived • W Mr. M'Der* 
mot had not played his part with becoming gravity. 


subject of all obscurity ; having reduced it to those 
few eiements with which we are all familiar, I proceed 
to make a few deductions from the premises, which 
seem to me inevitable, and decisive of the question. 
I lay it down as a self-evident proposition, that faction 
in all its forms is hideous ; and I maintain, with equal 
confidence, that it never has been nor never will be 
restrained by those suggestions which the gentleman 
' emphatically terms internal.'' No, sir, nothing short of 
the bias, and the very strong bias too, of jurisprudence, 
or the potent energies of the sword, can restrain it. 
But, sir, I shall here, perhaps, be asked, whether there 
is not a very wide difference between a turbulent, law. 
less faction, and the vote of faction 1 Most unquestion- 
ably there is ; and to this distinction I shall presently 
advert, and demonstrably prove that it is a distinction 
which makes altogether in our favour." 

Thus did Mr. M'Dermot continue to dissect and ex- 
pose his adversary's argument, in the most clear, con- 
clusive, and masterly manner, at considerable length 
But we cannot deal more favourably by him than we 
have dealt by Mr. Longworth. We must therefore 
dismiss him after we shall have given the reader his 
concluding remarks. They were as follows : 

" Let us now suppose Mr. Longworth's principles 
brought to the test of experiment. Let us suppose his 
language addressed to all mankind. ' We close the 
temples of justice as useless ; we burn our codes of 
laws as worthless; and we substitute in their places 
the more valuable restraints of internal suggestions. 
Thieves, invade not your neighbour's property : if you 
do, you will be arraigned before the august tribunal 
of conscience. Robbers, stay your lawless hand ; or 
you will be visited with the tremendous penalties of 
psychology. Murderers, spare the blood of your fellow- 
creatures ; or you will be exposed to the excruciating 
tortures of innate maxims — when it shall be discovered 
that there are any.'' Mr. President, could there be a 
broader license to crime than this ? Could a better plan 
be devised for dissolving the bands of civil society ? It 


requires not the gift of prophecy to foresee the conse- 
quences of these novel and monstrous principles. The 
strong would tyrannize over the weak ; the poor would 
plunder the rich ; the servant would rise above the 
master ; the drones of society would fatten upon the 
hard earnings of the industrious. Indeed, sir, industry 
would soon desert the land ; for it would have neither 
reward nor encouragement. Commerce would cease ; 
arts and sciences would languish ; all the sacred rela- 
tions would be dissolved, and scenes of havoc, dissolu- 
tion, and death ensue, such as never will visit it until 
mankind learn to repose their destinies upon ' those 
suggestions emphatically termed internal.' From all 
these evils there is a secure retreat behind the brazen 
wall of the ' bias of jurisprudence.' " 

The gentleman who was next called on to engage in 
the debate was John Craig ; a gentleman of good hard 
sense, but who was utterly incompetent to say a word 
upon a subject which he did not understand. He pro- 
ceeded thus : 

" Mr. President — When this subject was proposed, I 
candidly confessed I did not understand it, and I was 
informed by Mr. Longworth and Mr. M'Dermot that 
either of them would explain it at any leisure moment. 
But, sir, they seem to have taken very good care, from 
that time to this, to have no leisure moment. I have 
inquired of both of them repeatedly for an explana- 
tion ; but they were always too busy to talk about it. 
Well, sir, as it was proposed by Mr. Longworth, I 
thought he would certainly explain it in his speech ; but 
I understood no more of his speech than I did of the 
subject. Well, sir, I thought I should certainly learn 
something from Mr. M'Dermot ; especially as he prom- 
ised, at the commencement of his speech, to clear away 
the mist that Mr. Longworth had thrown about the 
subject, and to place it in a clear, intelligible point 
of light. But, sir, the only difference between his 
■speech and Mr. Longworth's is, that it was not quite 
as flighty as Mr. Longworth's. I couldn't understand 
head nor tail of it. At one time they seemed to argue 


the question as if it were this : ' Is it better to have 
law or no law !' Ac another, as though it was, ' Should 
faction be governed by law, or be left to their own con- 
sciences V But most of the time they'argued it as if 
it were just what it seems to be — a sentence without 
sense or meaning. But, sir, I suppose its obscurity is 
owing to my dulness of apprehension ; for they ap- 
peared to argue it with great earnestness and feeling, 
as if they understood it. 

" I shall put my interpretation upon it, Mr. President, 
and argue it accordingly. 

" ' Whether, at public elections' — that is, for mem- 
bers of Congress, members of the Legislature, &c, 
' should the votes of faction' — I don't know what 'fac- 
tion' has got to do with it ; and therefore I shall throw 
it out. 'Should the votes predominate, by inter- 
nal suggestions or the bias' — I don't know what the 
article is put in here for. It seems to me it ought to 
be, be biased by 'jurisprudence' or law. In short, Mr. 
President, I understand the question to be, should a 
man vote as he pleases, or should the law say how 
he should vote V 

Here Mr. Longworth rose and observed, that though 
Mr. Craig was on his side, he felt it due to their adver- 
saries to state, that this was not a true exposition of the 
subject. This exposition settled the question at once 
on his side ; for nobody would for a moment contend 
that the law should declare how men should vote. Un- 
less it be confined to the vote of faction and the bias of 
lurisprudence, it was no subject at all. To all this Mr. 
M'Dermot signified his unqualified approbation ; and 
seemed pleased with the candour of his opponent. 

" Well," said Mr. Craig, "I thought it was impossible 
that any one should propose such a question as that to 
the society ; but will Mr. Longworth tell us, if it does 
not mean that, what does it mean? for I don't see 
what great change is made in it by his explanation." 

Mr. Longworth replied, that if the remarks which he 
had just made, and his argument, had not fully explain. 


ed the subject to Mr. Craig, he feared it would be out 
of his power to explain it. 

" Then," said Mr. Craig, " I'll pay my fine, for I 
don't understand a word of it." 

The next one summoned to the debate was Mr. Pen- 
tigall. Mr. Pentigall was one of those who would 
never acknowledge his ignorance of anything which 
any person else understood ; and that Longworth and 
M'Dermot were both masters of the subject, was clear, 
both from their fluency and seriousness. He therefore 
determined to understand it, at all hazards. Conse- 
quently, he rose at the president's command with con- 
siderable self-confidence. I regret, however, that it is 
impossible to commit Mr. PentigalPs manner to paper, 
without which his remarks lose nearly all their interest. 
He was a tall, handsome man ; a little theatric in his 
manner, rapid in his delivery, and singular in his pro- 
nunciation. He gave to the e and i of our language 
the sound of u ; at least his peculiar intonations of voice 
seemed to give them that sound ; and his rapidity of 
utterance seemed to change the termination " Hon" into 
" ah." With all his peculiarities, however, he was a 
fine fellow. If he was ambitious, he was not invidious, 
and he possessed an amicable disposition. He pro. 
ceeded as follows : 

" Mr. President — This internal suggestion which has 
been so eloquently discussed by Mr. Longworth, and 
the bias of jurisprudence which has been so ably advo- 
cated by Mr. M ; Dermot — hem ! — Mr. President, in or- 
der to fix the line of demarcation between — ah — the in- 
ternal suggestion and the bias of jurisprudence — Mr. 
President, I think, sir, that — ah — the subject must be 
confined to the vote of faction and the bias of jurispru- 

Here Mr. Pentigall clapped his right hand to his fore- 
head, as though he had that moment heard some over- 
powering news ; and, after maintaining this position 
for about the space of ten seconds, he slowly withdrew 
his hand, gave his head a slight inclination to the right, 
raised his eyes to the president as if just awakening 


from a trance, and with a voice of the most hopeless 
despair, concluded with, " I don't understand the sub 
ject, Muster Prusidunt." 

The rest of the members on both sides submitted to 
be fined rather than attempt the knotty subject ; but, 
by common consent, the penal rule was dispensed with. 
Nothing now remained to close the exercises but the 
decision of the chair. 

The president, John Nuble, was a young man not 
unlike Craig in his turn of mind, though he possessed 
an intellect a little more sprightly than Craig's. His 
decision was short. 

" Gentlemen," said he, " I do not understand the sub- 
ject. This," continued he (pulling out his knife, and 
pointing to the silvered or cross side of it), " is ' Inter- 
nal Suggestions.' And this" (pointing to the other, or 
pile side) " is ' Bias of Jurisprudence :' " so saying, he 
threw up his knife, and upon its fall determined that 
" Internal Suggestions" had got it ; and ordered the 
decision to be registered accordingly. 

It is worthy of note, that in their zeal to accomplish 
their purpose, Longworth and M'Dermot forgot to de- 
stroy the lists of subjects from which they had select- 
ed the one so often mentioned ; and one of these lists, 
containing the subject discussed, with a number more 
like it, was picked up by Mr. Craig, who made a pub. 
lie exhibition of it, threatening to arraign the conspir- 
ators before the society for a contempt. But, as the 
parting hour was at hand, he overlooked it with the 
rest of the brotherhood, and often laughed heartily at 
the trick. 




I happened, not long since, to be present at the 
Cluster of a captain's company in a remote part of one 
of the counties ; and as no general description could 
*onvey an accurate idea of the achievements of that 
«tay, I must be permitted to go a little into detail, as 
well as my recollection will serve me. 

The men had been notified to meet at nine o'clock, 
'armed and equipped as the law directs;" that is to 
say, with a gun and cartridge box at least, but, as di- 
rected by the law of the United States, " with a good 
firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, and a pouch with 
a box to contain no less than twenty-four sufficient car- 
tridges of powder and ball." 

At twelve, about one third, perhaps one half, of the 
men had collected, and an inspector's return of the 
number present, and of their arms, would have stood 
nearly thus : 1 captain, 1 lieutenant ; ensign, none ; 
fifers, none ; privates, present, 24 ; ditto, absent, 40 ; 
guns, 14 ; gunlocks, 12 ; ramrods, 10 ; rifle pouches, 
3 ; bayonets, none ; belts, none ; spare flints, none ; 
cartridges, none ; horsewhips, walking canes, and um- 
brellas, 10. A little before one, the captain, whom I 
shall distinguish by the name of Clodpole, gave direc- 
tions for forming the line of parade. In obedience to 
this order, one of the sergeants, whose lungs had long 
supplied the place of a drum and fife, placed himself 
in front of the house, and began to bawl with great 
vehemence, " All Captain Clodpole's company parade 
here ! Come, Gentlemen, parade here !" says he ; 
" all you that hasn't got guns fall into the lower eend." 
He might have bawled till this time, with as little sue 

* This is from the pen of a friend, who has kindly permitted me 
to place it among the " Georgia Scenes." It was taken from the life, 
.no published about twenty years ago. — The Author. 


J.46 the m,ilitia company drill. 

cess as the sirens sung to Ulysses, had he not changed 
his post to a neighbouring shade. There he was im- 
mediately joined by all who were then at leisure ; the • 
others were at that time engaged as parties or specta- 
tors at a game of fives, and could not just then attend. 
However, in less than half an hour the game was fin- 
ished, and the captain enabled to form his company, 
and proceed in the duties of the day. 

" Look to the right and dress /" 

They were soon, by the help of the non-commis 
sioned officers, placed in a straight line ; but, as every 
man was anxious to see how the rest stood, those on 
the wings pressed forward for that purpose, till the 
whole line assumed nearly the form of a crescent. 

" Why, look at 'em," says the captain ; "why, gen- 
tlemen, you are all a crooking in at both eends, so that 
you will get on to me by. and -by ! Come, gentlemen, 
dress, dress!" 

This was accordingly done ; but, impelled by the 
same motives as before, they soon resumed their for- 
mer figure, and so they were permitted to remain. 

" Now, gentlemen," says the captain, " I am going 
to carry you through the revolutions of the manual 
exercise ; and I want you, gentlemen, if you please, to 
pay particular attention to the word of command, just 
exactly as I give it out to you. I hope you will have 
a little patience, gentlemen, if you please ; and if I 
should be agOing wrong, I will be much obliged to any 
of you, gentlemen, to put me right again, for I mean 
all for the best, and I hope you will excuse me if you 
please. And one thing, gentlemen, I caution you 
against, in particular, and that is this : not to make 
any mistakes if you can possibly help it ; and the best 
way to do this will be to do all the motions right al 
first ; and that will help us to get along so much the 
faster ; and I will try to have it over as soon as possi. 
ble. Come, boys, come to a shoulder. 

" Poise, foolk !* 

* A contraction and corruption of " firelock." Thus : " firelock,'' 
"flock," "foolk." 


u Cock,foolk ! Very handsomely done. 

" Take, aim! 

" Ram down, catridge ! No ! no ! Fire ! I recol 
lect now that firing comes next after taking aim, ac* 
cording to Steuben ; but, with your permission, gen 
llemen, I'll read the words of command just exactly 
as they are printed in the book, and then I shall be sure 
to be right." 

" Oh, yes ! read it, captain, read it !" exclaimed 
twenty voices at once ; " that will save time." 

"' Tention the whole I Please to observe, gentlemen, 
that at the word ' fire !' you must fire ; that is, if any 
of your guns are loaden'd, you must not shoot in year- 
nest, but only make pretence like ; and you, gentlemen 
fellow-soldiers, who's armsd with nothing but sticks, 
riding-switches, and corn-stalks, needn't go through 
the firings, but stand as you are, and keep yourselves 
to yourselves. 

"Half cock,foolk! Very well done. 

" S-h-e-t (spelling) Shet, pan ! That too would have 
been handsomely done, if you hadn't handled catridge 
instead of shetting pan ; but I suppose you wasn't no- 
ticing. Now 'tention one and all, gentlemen, and do 
that motion again. 

" Shet, pan ! Very good, very well indeed ; you did 
that motion equal to any old soldier ; you improve as 

" Handle, catridge ! Pretty well, considering you 
done it wrong end foremost, as if you took the catridge 
out of your mouth, and bit off the twist with the cat- 

" Draw, rammer ! Those who have no rammers to 
heir guns need not draw, but only make the motion ; 
it will do just as well, and save a great deal of time. 

" Return, rammer ! Very well again. But that 
would have been done, I think, with greater expertnesa 
if you had performed the motion with a little more 

" S-h-o-u-l — Shoulder, foolk ! Very handsomely 
done indeed ! Put your guns on the other shoulder 


" Order, foolk ! Not quite so well, gentlemen ; not 
quite altogether ; but perhaps I did not speak loud 
enough for you to hear me all at once. Try once 
more, if you please. I hope you will be patient, gen- 
tlemen ; we will soon be through. 

" Order, foolk ! Handsomely done, gentlemen ! 
Very handsomely done ! and all together too, except 
that one half of you were a leetle too soon, and the 
other half a leetle too late. 

" In laying down your guns, gentlemen, take care to 
lay the locks up and the other side down. 

" 'Tention the whole ! Ground, foolk ! Very well. 

" Charge, bayonet /" 

(Some of the men) — " That can't be, captain : pray 
look again ; for how can we charge bayonet without 
our guns V 

( Captain) — " I don't know as to that, but I know I'm 
right, for here 'tis printed in the book ; c-h-a-r — yes, 
charge, bayonet, that's right, that's the word, if I know 
how to read. Come, gentlemen, do pray charge bay- 
onet ! Charge, I say ! Why don't you charge ! Do 
you think it aint so ? Do you think I have lived to 
this time o' day, and don't know what charge bayonet 
is ? Here, come here, you may see for yourselves ; 
it's as plain as the nose on your fa — rstop — stay— no 
— halt ! no ! Faith, I'm wrong ! I turned over two 
leaves at once. I beg your pardon, we will not stay 
out long ; and we'll have something to drink as soon 
as we have done. Come, boys, get off the stumps 
and logs, and take up your guns ; we'll soon be done : 
excuse me if you please. 
" Fix, bayonet ! 

" Advance, arms ! Very well done : turn the stocks 
of your guns in front, gentlemen, and that will bring 
the barrels behind ; hold them straight up and down, if 
you please ; let go with your left, and take hold with 
your right hand below the guard. Steuben says the 
gun should be held p-e-r — pertic'lar ; yes, you must al- 
ways mind and hold your guns very pertic'lar. Now, 
boys, 'tention the whole ! 


" Present, arms ! Very handsomely done ! only 
hold your gun "over t'other knee — t'other hand up- 
turn your hands round a little, and raise them up high- 
er — draw t'other foot back — now you are nearly right 
— very well done. 

" Gentlemen, we come now to the revolutions. Men, 
you have all got into a sort of snarl, as I may say ; 
how did you all get into such a higglety pigglety ?" 

The fact was, the shade had moved considerably to 
the eastward, and had exposed the right wing of these 
nardy veterans to a galling fire of the sun. Being 
Doorly provided with umbrellas at this end of the line, 
they found it convenient to follow the shade ; and in 
huddling to the left for this purpose, they changed the 
figure of their line from that of a crescent to one which 
more nearly resembled a pair of pothooks. 

" Come, gentlemen," says the captain, " spread your- 
selves out again into a straight line ; and let us get into 
'the wheelings and other matters as soon as possible." 

But this was strenuously opposed by the soldiers. 
They objected to going into the revolutions at all, in- 
asmuch as the weather was extremely hot, and they 
had already been kept in the field upward of three 
quarters of an hour. They reminded the captain o. 
his repeated promise to be as short as he possibly could, 
and it was clear he could dispense with all this wheel- 
ing and flourishing if he chose. They were already 
very thirsty, and if he would not dismiss them, they 
declared they would go off without dismission, and 
get something to drink, and he might fine them if that 
would do him any good ; they were able to pay their 
fine, but would not go without drink to please anybody ; 
and they swore they would never vote for another cap- 
tain who wished to be so unreasonably strict. 

The captain behaved with great spirit upon the oc- 
casion, and a smart colloquy ensued ; when at length 
becoming- exasperated to the last degree, he roundly 
asserted that no soldier ought ever to think hard of the 
orders of his officer ; and, finally, he went so far as 
to say, that he did not think any gentleman on that 


ground had any just cause to be offended with him 
The dispute was finally settled by the captain sending 
for some grog for their present accommodation, and 
agreeing to omit reading the military law, and the per- 
formance of all the manoeuvres, except two or three 
such easy and simple ones as could be performed within 
the compass of the shade. After they had drank their 
grog and had spread " themselves," they were divided 
into platoons. 

" 'Tention the whole ! To the right wheel!" 

Each man faced to the right about. 

" Why, gentlemen, I did not mean for every man to 
stand still and turn himself na'trally right round ; but 
when I told you to wheel to the right, I intended you 
to wheel round to the right, as it were. Please to try 
again, gentlemen ; every right-hand man must stand 
fast, and only the others turn round." 

In the previous part of the exercise, it had, for the 
purpose of sizing, been necessary to denominate every 
second person a " right-hand man." A very natural 
consequence was, that, on the present occasion, these 
right-hand men maintained their position, all the inter- 
mediate ones facing about as before. 

" Why, look at 'em, now !** exclaimed the captain, 
in extreme vexation ; " I'll be d — d if you understand 
a word I say. Excuse me, gentlemen, it rayly seems 
as if you could not come at it exactly. In wheeling 
to the right, the right-hand eend of the platoon stands 
fast, and the other eend comes round like a swingle- 
tree. Those on the outside must march faster than 
those on the inside. You certainly must understand 
me now, gentlemen ; and please to try it once more." 

In this they were a little more successful. 

" ' Tention the whole ! To the left — left, no — right — 
that is, the left — I mean the right — left, wheel, march /" 

In this he was strictly obeyed ; some wheeling to 
the right, some to the left, and some to the right-left, or 
both ways. 

" Stop ! halt ! Let us try it again ! I could not just 
then tell my right hand from my left ! You must ex- 


cuse me, if you please ; experience makes perfect, as 
the saying is. Long as I have served, I find some- 
thing new to learn every day ; but all's one for that. 
Now, gentlemen, do that motion once more." 

By the help of a non-commissioned officer in front 
of each platoon, they wheeled this time with consider- 
able regularity. 

" Now, boys, you must try to wheel by divisions ; 
and there is one thing in particular which I have to 
request of you, gentlemen, and that is, not to make any 
blunder in your wheeling. You must mind and keep 
at a wheeling distance, and not talk in the ranks, nor 
get out of fix again ; for I want you to do this motion 
well, and not to make any blunder now. 

" ' Tention the whole ! By divisions, to the right 
wheel, march /" 

In doing this it seemed as if Bedlam had broke loose : 
every man took the command. Not so fast on the 
right ! Slow now ! Haul down those umbrellas ! 
Faster on the left ! Keep back a little there ! Don't 
scrouge so ! Hold up your gun, Sam ! Go faster 

there ! faster ! Who trod on my ? D— — n your 

huffs ! Keep back ! Stop us, captain, do stop us ! 
Go faster there ! I've lost my shoe ! Get up again, 
Ned ! Halt ! halt ! halt ! Stop, gentlemen ! stop ! 
stop ! 

By this time they had got into utter and inextricable 
confusion, and so I left them. 




" Come," said my friend Baldwin to me, a few months 
ago, "let us go to the turf." 

" No," said I, " I take no interest in its amusements." 

" Nor do I," rejoined he ; " but I visit it to acquire 
a knowledge of the human character, as it exhibits it- 
self in the various scenes of life, and with the hope ot 
turning the knowledge thus acquired to some good ac- 
count. I am the more desirous that you should accom- 
pany me," continued he, " because, as one pair of eyes 
and ears cannot catch all that passes within a scene 
so spacious, I shall lose many instructing, interesting, 
or amusing incidents without the assistance of a friend 
and therefore I wish to enlist your services." 

" Well," said I, " with this view I will accompany 

We went ; and the following is the result of our 
joint observations : 

We went early, when as yet no one had reached the 
ground but those who occupied the booths for the pur- 
pose of traffic. It was not long, however, before 
crowds of persons, of all ages, sexes, conditions, and 
complexions, were seen moving towards the booths ; 
some on foot, some on horseback, some in gigs, some 
in carriages, some in carts, and some in wagons. The 
carriages (generally filled with well-dressed ladies) 
arranged themselves about thirty or forty paces from 
the starting-point, towards the centre of the turf. 
Around these circled many young gentlemen, each ri- 
ding his prettiest, whipping, spurring, and curbing his 
horse into the most engaging antics, and giving visible 
token that he thought every eye from the carriages was 
on him, and every heart overpowered by his horse- 
manship. As many more plied between the booths 
and carriages, bearing messages, rumours, apples, 
oranges, raisins, lemonade, and punch. 

THE TU1F. 153 

u But surely no lady drank the punch !" 

" Yes, three of them did ; and if I know what large 
swallows mean, they loved it too — but they didn't drink 
long. The ladies ought to be informed, however, 
that a countryman passing them observed, ' the way 
them women love punch is nothing to nobody !' " 

The gentlemen generally collected about the booths, 
and employed themselves in loud talking and drinking. 
Here I saw Major Close, who two hours before declared 
he had not enough to pay a poor woman for the ma- 
king the vest he had on, treat a large company to a dol- 
lar bowl of punch ; and, ten minutes after, I saw the 
same man stake fifty dollars on the race. I saw an. 
other gentleman do the same, who, four days before, 
permitted his endorser to lift his note in bank for one 
hundred dollars, which note the endorser still held. 
But, thought I, the way these gentlemen treat their 
creditors "is nothing to nobody." One thing I re- 
marked upon this occasion, which should not be pass- 
ed in silence. I saw many gentlemen drink spirits 
upon the turf, whom I never saw taste it anywhere 
else ; some because it seemed fashionable, and some 
because they would bet nothing but a glass of toddy 
or a bowl of punch, and, having bet it, they must help 
drink it. 

I had been employed perhaps three quarters of an 
hour in making observations upon the scene which 
was before me, when I observed a group of negroes 
and boys enter one of the gates of the turf, following, 
with much seeming interest, a horse which was led by 
an aged black, by whose side walked a little negro boy 
about thirteen years of age, dressed in pink through- 
out. I had no doubt but that the horse was one which 
was entered for the day's running ; and as I was de- 
sirous of seeing all the competitors before the race, I 
advanced to meet him apart from the crowd. As soon 
as I approached near enough to distinguish the fea- 
tures of the old negro who led the animal, I discover- 
ed that he was a gentleman who, upon that day at 
least, was to be approached only with the most pro- 

154 THE TUKF. 

found respect. His step was martial, his eye looked 
directly forward, and his countenance plainly indicated 
that he had many deep things shut up in his brain, 
which the world had long been trying to pry into, 
in vain. I concluded, however, that I might venture 
to ask him a question, which all who had read the 
morning's Chronicle could have answered. I there- 
fore took the liberty of addressing him, as soon as he 
came near me, with, 

" Old man, what horse is that ?" 

The question seemed to come like a thunder-bolt 
among his contemplations ; and, without speaking a 
word, he bent upon me a look which I perfectly un- 
derstood to mean, 

" Pray, sir, where were you born and brought up ?" 

Having been thus foiled by the old man, I resolved 
to try my luck with the rider ; accordingly, I repeated 
the question to him. He stopped, and was in the act, 
as I thought, of answering, when the old man bawled 
out to him, in an angry tone, 

" Come along, you Bill; never keep behind you hoss 
when you fuss (first) come on the ground." 

Bill obeyed promptly, and took his position by his 
majesty, who observed to him, in an under tone, as he 
came alongside, 

" Never tell de name you hoss ; it's bad luck." 

Bill's confusion plainly showed that he ought to have 
known a thing so obvious from his infancy. I was as 
much disconcerted as Bill ; but was soon relieved by 
a pert little blackamoor, who, rather to persuade me 
that he was in all the secrets of the turf than in chari- 
ty to me, addressed me with, 

" Master, I'll tell you what hoss dat is." 

" Well, my boy," said I, " what horse is it ?" 

" He young Butteram, son o' ole Butteram, dat usen 
to belong to Mr. Swingletree." 

" And do you know all the horses that are going to 
run to-day ?" said I. 

" La, yes, sir," said he ; "I know ebery one dat's 
gwine to run ebery day." 

THE TURF. 155 

I concluded I would take advantage of the boy's 
knowledge ; and therefore gave him twelve and a half 
cents to stand by me, and give me the names of the 
racers as they passed ; for by this time they were all 
on the ground, and following the direction of the first. 

" This one," said my Mentor, as the next approach, 
ed, " name Flory Randle ; she b'long to Mr. Pet ; but 
I don't know what hoss he daddy, though." 

" This one" (as the next came up) " name Sir Wil- 
liam ; he come all de way from Virginny, and I tink 
dey say he got by Virginny too." 

" And this" (as the last approached) " name 'Clipse ; 
by jokey, he look to me like he could clip it too ; and 
I be swinged if I don't go my seb'n-pence on him any 

Thus I learned that the four horses which were to 
run were Bertrand, Flora Randolph, Sir William, and 
Eclipse. At this moment, a voice from the judges' 
stand cried, " Prepare your horses !" and in an instant 
the grooms were engaged in saddling the animals. 
This preliminary was soon disposed of, and the own- 
ers proceeded to give the riders their instructions. 

" Now, Bob," said Mr. Pet, " I know that I have the 
heels of any horse on the turf, but I'm a little afraid 
of my bottom ; therefore, save your wind as much as 
possible. Trail the leading horse upon a hard rein, 
about half a distance behind, until you come to the last 
half mile, and then let Flora off at full speed. As soon 
as you pass the leading horse about a length, bear 
your rein, and don't come in more than a length ahead." 

" Sam," said the owner of Sir William, " you've got 
none to fear but Bertrand, and you've got the bottom 
of him ; therefore give him no rest from the word ' go !' 
unless you find that your heels are as good as his ; 
and if so, you needn't waste your wind. Feel Ber- 
trand at the first rise of the course ; if he stands it 
pretty well, try how you can move with him going 
down the hill ; and if you find that you are too hard 
for him either at rises or falls, pinch him hard at all of 
them places ; and when you come to the last half mile 

156 THE TURF. 

of each heat, run his heart, liver, lights, and soul-case 
out of hifti." 

"Ned," said the owner of Eclipse, "you are not to 
run for the first heat at all, unless you find you can 
take it very easy. Let Sir William take the first heat. 
You can beat the others when you please, and William 
can't stand a push for two heats ; therefore, just play 
alongside of him handsomely for the first three miles, 
and at the coming in, just drop in the distance pole. 
The next heat take the track, and press him from the 

" Bill," said the owner of Bertrand, " do you take 
the track at the start, and keep it, and run only just fast 
enough to keep it." 

Here the roll of the drum and a cry from the judges' 
stand put the horses in motion for the starting-point. 
Over this point I now observed suspended from a pole 
a beautiful blue silk purse, spangled with silver and 
embroidered with gold, on both sides of which were 
marked in golden charcters, " $500 ! ! !" 

It would require a volume to describe the scene 
which now ensued. 

" Captain, do you run Bertrand for the heat ?" 

" I do, sir." 

" Five hundred dollars, Bertrand against the field." 

"Done, sir." 

" Major, will Eclipse run for the heat ?" 

" No, sir." 

" One hundred to fifty that Flora Randolph beats 
Eclipse the first heat !" 

"Done, sir"— "Done, sir" — "Done, sir." 

" I took the bet first." 

" No, sir, I took it first." 

" No matter, gentlemen, I'll go you all fifty apiece.'* 

" It's a bet, sir"—" It's a bet"—" A bet, sir." 

" Here, Uncle Sam, hold dese trups." 

" Now mind de bet. Bob, he bet dat Flory Randle 
take de fus heat. I bet he take no heat at all." 

" Yes, dat be de bet — you hear him, Uncle Sam ?" 

" Tell him over agin, le' me listen." 


" Well, dis him : If Flory take de fus heat, Bob 
win; if he take no heat at all, I win." 

" Berry well, I got him now fass in my head." 

" Pa, give me a quarter to bet." 

" What horse do you want to bet upon, my son ?" 


" Oh no — there's a quarter — bet it upon Bertrand." 

" Well, Miss Flora, don't you wish to bet V 

" Yes, sir, I'll bet you a pair of gloves." 

" Well, what horse will you take 7" 

" Oh, my namesake, of course." 

" It's a bet ; you take Flora against the field, of 

" To be sure I do." 

Thus it went ; men, women, and children, whites and 
blacks, all betting. 

Such was the bustle, confusion, and uproar among 
the men, that I could hardly see or hear anything dis- 
tinctly ; and therefore I resolved to take my position 
among the carriages, in order to observe the ladies 
under the delights of the turf. 

The signal was now given, and off went the horses ; 
Flora ahead, Bertrand next, Sir William next, and 
Eclipse in the rear. 

" Only look at that rascal," said Mr. Pet, as he 
charged by us at full speed, " how he is riding. Hold 
her in, you rascal, or I'll give you five hundred lashes 
as soon as you light. Hold her in, I tell you, you 
abominable puppy, or I'll cut your throat." Bob did 
his best to restrain her, for he bore upon the rein until 
his back came nearly in contact with Flora's ; but to 
no purpose. Ahead she would go for the first twc 

" Only see, mamma," said Miss Flora, " how beau- 
tifully Flora runs ! Oh, that dear little rider" (a ne- 
gro), " how handsomely he carries himself. I knew I 
should win my gloves." 

At the completion of the second mile Flora became 
more manageable, and the other horses passed her in 
their order. As the last gained about a length of her, 

158 THE TUKF. 

"Now," said Pet, "keep her at that." The rider 
straightened himself in the saddle, but the space widen- 
ed perceptibly between him and Eclipse. " Don't bear 
upon the rein so hard," said Pet. " Let her play- 
easy." Bob slackened the rein ; but Flora seemed 
not to improve her liberty. " Look how you're drop, 
ping behind," continued Pet. " Let her out, I tell you !" 
Bob let her out, but she would not go out. " Let her 
out, I tell you, or I will blow your brains out." Here 
Bob gave her a cut. " You infernal rascal you, don't 
give her the whip ! Bring her up to Eclipse." Bob 
gave her the lash again ; but Flora obstinately refused 
to keep company with Eclipse. " Very well, sir," said 
Pet, " ride your own way, and I'll whip mine when 
you get home ; I see how it is." Bob seemed to hear 
only the first member of the sentence, and he gave the 
whip without mercy. 

" Why, Pet," said a gentleman, " what is the mat- 
ter with Flora to-day ?" 

" What's the matter with her, sir ! Don't you see 
that I can't make Bob do anything I tell him 1 I'll 
learn him how to take a bribe in future." 

As Flora received the twentieth cut, she switched 
her tail. " Ah !" said Mr. Dimple, " I fear you've lost 
your gloves, Miss Flora ; see, your favourite switches 
her tail." 

" Does Flora switch her tail ?" said Miss Flora. 
" Mamma, Mr. Dimple says Flora switches her tail !" 

" Does Flora switch her tail V said Mrs. Blue. 

" Does Flora switch her tail ?" said Miss Emma. 
" Oh, what a pity !" 

The horses preserved their order through the heat. 
Flora was distanced ; but her rider maintained his 
grace and dignity to the last, and rode as if perfectly 
satisfied that every eye was upon him, and that all were 
saying, " To be sure Flora is beaten ; but her rider is 
decidedly the best on the ground." In spite of his 
cry of " Clear the track !" however, the crowd closed in 
between him and the foremost horses, extinguished his 
graces from general view, and forced him to come in 
in the mere character of a spectator. 

THE TURF. 159 

Between the first and second heats, I saw the own. 
ers of Sir William and Eclipse in a pleasing conver- 
sation ; but I did not hear what they said. 

After a rest of about a quarter of an hour, the hor- 
ses were again brought to the starting-point ; and, at 
the tap of the drum, went off with great velocity. Ber 
trand took the lead as before, and William pursued him 
very closely. They kept within two lengths of each 
other for three miles and a. half, when William locked 
his adversary, and both riders commenced giving the 
whip and spur without mercy. When they came in, it 
was evident to my eye that Bertrand's* rider (for I 
could not see the horses' heads) was more than his 
width ahead of William's ; but the judges decided that 
William won the heat by two inches and a quarter. 
Eclipse just saved his distance. At the close of the 
heat the two former exhibited a pitiable spectacle. 
There was not a dry hair upon either of them, and the 
blood streamed from the flanks and sides of both. 

" Mr. Dimple," said Miss Emma, " which horse 
shall I bet on next time ? Which seems the most dis- 
tressed ?" 

" I declare, miss," said Dimple, " I don't know ; they 
both seem to be very much distressed ; but I think 
William seems to be in rather the worst plight." 

Between this and the following heat, two little boys 
engaged in a fight, and not less than fifty grown men 
gathered around them to witness the conflict, with as 
gieat an uproar as if a town were on fire. This fight 
produced two more between grown persons ; one of 
whom was carried from the turf with a fractured scull, 
as it was thought, from the blow of a stick. But none 
of the ladies went to the fights. 

Again the horses were brought up and put off. Ber- 
trand once more led the way, and Eclipse followed close 
at, his heels for about a mile and three quarters, when 
William ran up under whip, nose, and tail to Bertrand. 
Eclipse fell some distance behind, and continued so for 
a mile and a half, when he came up and nearly locked 
Bertrand. Thus they ran three fourths of the remain. 

160 THE TURF. 

ing distance. On the last stretch they came side to 
side, and so continued through. On this heat I con. 
curred with the judges that it was a draw race. Wil 
liam was double distanced. 

Bertrand and Eclipse put off upon the fourth heat : 
Bertrand still taking the lead by about half his length. 
Eclipse now pushed for the track ; but Bertrand main- 
tained it. For two miles did the riders continue so close 
together that they might have joined hands. They had 
entered upon the third mile in this way, when, at the 
first turn of the course from the judges' stand, Eclipse 
fell and killed his rider. Bertrand, being now left with- 
out a competitor, galloped slowly round to the goal, 
where, with great pomp and ceremony, the pole which, 
held the purse was bent down to his rider, who dislodgec 
it, and bore it on high, backward and forward, in front 
of the booth, to the sound of drum, fife and violin. 

" I declare," said Mrs. Blue, as her carriage wheeled 
off, " had it not been for that little accident, the sport 
would have been delightful." 

I left the turf in company with a large number of gen- 
tlemen, all of whom concurred in the opinion that they 
had never witnessed such sport in all their lives. 

" What a pity it is," said General Grubbs, " that 
this amusement is not more encouraged ! We never 
shall have a fine breed of horses until the turf is more 

I returned home, and had been seated perhaps an 
hour, when Baldwin entered. " Well," said he, " I 
have just been favoured with a sight of the contents of 
that beautiful purse which Bertand won ; and what do 
you think it contained?" 

" Why, five hundred dollars, certainly," returned I. 
" No," continued he, " it contained two half eagles, 
sixteen dollars in silver, twelve one dollar bills, and a 
subscription paper, which the owner offered to the lar- 
gest subscriber on it for one hundred and fifty dollars, 
and it was refused. It is but right to observe, however, 
that the gentleman to whom the offer was made assu. 
led the owner that it was as good as gold." 




I hope the day is not far distant when drunkenness 
will be unknown in our highly-favoured country. The 
moral world is rising in its strength against the all-de- 
stroying vice, and though the monster still struggles, 
and stings, and poisons with deadly effect in many parts 
of our wide-spread territory, it is perceptibly wounded 
and weakened ; and I flatter myself if I should live to 
number ten years more, I shall see it driven entirely 
from the higher walks of life at least, if not from all 
grades of society. For the honour of my contempora- 
ries, I would register none of its crimes or its follies ; 
but, in noticing the peculiarities of the age in which I 
live, candour constrains me to give this vice a passing 
notice. The interview which I am about to present 
to my readers exhibits it in its mildest and most harm- 
less forms. 

In the county of , and about five miles apart, 

lived old Hardy Slow and old Tobias Swift. They 
were both industrious, honest, sensible farmers when 
sober ; but they never visited their county-town with- 
out getting drunk ; and then they were — precisely what 
the following narrative makes them. 

They both happened at the Courthouse on the same 
day when I last saw them together ; the former ac- 
companied by his wife, and the latter by his youngest 
son, a lad about thirteen. Tobias was just clearly on 
the wrong side of the line which divides drunk from 
sober ; but Hardy was " royally corned" (but not fall- 
ing) when they met, about an hour by sun in the after- 
noon, near the rack at which both their horses were 

They stopped about four feet apart, and looked each 
other full in the face for about half a minute ; during 
all which time Toby sucked his teeth, winked, and 


made signs with his shoulders and elbows to the by- 
standers that he knew Hardy was drunk, and was go- 
ing to quiz him for their amusement. In the mean 
time, Hardy looked at Tobias, like a polite man drop- 
ping to sleep, in spite of himself, under a long dull 

At length Toby broke silence : 

" How goes it, uncle Hardy ?" (winking to the compa- 
ny and shrugging his shoulders.) 

" Why, Toby ! is that you ? Well — upon my — why, 
Toby ! Lord — help — my — soul and — Why, To- 
by ! what, in, the, worl', set, yon, to, gitt'n, drunk — 
this, time o' day? Swear, poin' blank, you're drunk! 
Why — you — must be, an old, fool — to, get, drunk, right, 
before, all these, gentlemen — a'ready, Toby." 

" Well, but, now you see" (winking), " uncle Hardy, 
a gill-cup an't a quart-pot, nor a quart-pot an't a two- 
gallon jug ; and therefore" (winking and chuckling), 
" uncle Hardy, a thing is a thing, turn it which way 
you will, it just sticks at what it was before you give it 
first ex — ex — ploit." 

" Well, the, Lord, help, my — Why, Toby ! what, 
is the reas'n, you, never, will, answer, me this, one — 
circumstance — and, that, is — I, always, find, you, 
drunk, when, I come, here." 

" Well, now, but, uncle Hardy, you always know cir- 
cumstances alter cases, as the fellow said ; and there- 
fore, if one circumstance alters another circumstance 
— how's your wife and children ?" 

" I, swear, poin' blank, I sha'n't tell you — because, 
you r'ally, is, too drunk, to know, my wife, when, you, 
meet, her, in the street, all, day, long, and, she'll, tell, 
you, the, very, same, thing, as, all, these, gentlemen, 
can — testimony." 

" Well, but now you see, uncle Hardy, thinking's 
one thing and knowing's another, as the fellow said ; 
and the proof o' the pudding's chawin' the bag, as the 
fellow said ; and you see — toU-doll-diddle-de-doll-doll- 
day" (singing and capering), " you think I can't dance ? 
Come, uncle Hardy, let's dance." 


"Why, Toby! you — come — to this? I didn't 
make, you, drunk, did I ? You, an't, took, a drink, 
with, me, this, live, long, day — is you ? I, say, is you, 
Toby ?" 

" No, uncle Har — " 

" Well, then, let's go, take a drink." 

" Well, but you see, uncle Hardy, drinkin's drink- 
in' ; but that's neither here nor there, as the fellow said 

" Come" (singing) " all ye young sparkers, come listen to me, 
And I'll sing you a ditti, of a pretti ladee." 

" Why, Toby ! ha— ha— ha ! Well, I r'ally, did, 
think, you, was, drunk, but, now I believe — blast the 
flies ! I b'lieve, they, jest, as li'f walk, in my, mouth, 
as, in, my nose." (Then looking with eyes half closed 
at Toby for several minutes), " Why, Toby, you, spit 
'bacco-spit, all over, your jacket — and, that's jist, the 
very, way, you, got, in your — fix." 

At this moment Mrs. Slow came up, and immediate-, 
ly after, Swift's son, William. *^ 

" Come," said the good lady, " old man, let's go 
home ; it's getting late, and there's a cloud rising ; 
we'll get wet." 

" Why, Nancy ! what in the worl' has got into you ! 
Is you drunk too ? Well, 'pon, my word, and honour, 
I, b'lieve, everybody, in this town, is, got drunk to-day. 
Why, Nancy ! I never, did, see, you, in, that fix, be- 
fore, in, all, my, live, long, born, days." 

" Well, never mind," said she ; " come, let's go 
home. Don't you see the rain coming up ?" 

" Well, will, it rain, upon, my, cornfield, or my cot 
fon-patch ? Say, Nancy ! which one, will it, rain on] 
But, Lord, help, my, soul, you are, too drunk, to tell 
me, any, thing, about it. Don't my corn want rain, 
Nancy 1 Now, jist, tell me, that ?" 

"Yes ; but let's go home." 

" Then, why, upon, the face, of the earth, won't you, 
let it, rain, then ? I, rather, it, should rain, than not." 

" Come, old man," said several by-standers, touched 
with sympathy for the good lady, " come, get on your 
horse and go home, and we will help you." - 


" Oh yes, uncle Hardy," said Tobias, affecting to 
throw all humour aside, and to become very sober all 
at once, " go home with the old woman. Come, gen- 
tlemen, let's help 'em on their horses — they're groggy 
— mighty groggy. Come, old man, I'll help you" [stag, 
gering to Hardy). 

" Jist look at daddy now !" said Billy ; " he's going 
to help Mr. Swift, and he's drunk as Mr. Swift is. Oh, 
daddy, come, let's go home, or we'll get mazin' wet." 

Toby stooped down to help Hardy on his horse (be- 
fore the horse was taken from the rack), and throwing 
his arm roiuid Hardy's legs, he fell backward, and so 
did Hardy. 

" Why — Lord, bless, my, soul," said Hardy, " I 
b'lieve, I'm drunk, too. What, upon the, face, of the 
earth, has got, into, all, of us, this day !" 

" Why, uncle Hardy," said Toby, " you pull us both 
down together." 

" The old man's mighty gi'oggy," said Toby to me. 
in a half whisper, and with an arch wink and smile, as 
he rose up (I happening to be next to him at the mo- 
ment). " S'pose we help him up and get him off. 
* The old woman's in for it too," continued he, wink- 
ing, nodding, and shrugging up his shoulders very sig- 

" Oh no," said I, " the old woman is perfectly sober ; 
and I never heard of her tasting a drop in all my life." 

" Oh," said Toby, assuming the gravity of a parson, 
" loves it mightily, mightily ! Monstrous woman for 
drinking ! at least that's my opinion. Monstrous fine 
woman though ! monstrous fine !" 

" Oh, daddy, for the Lord's sake let's go home ; only 
see what a rain is coming !" said Billy. 

" Daddy'll go presently, my son." 
- " Well, here's your horse ; git up and let's go, 
Mammy'll be sure to be sendin' for us." 

" Don't mind him," said Toby, winking to me ; 
" he's nothing but a boy ; I wouldn't take no notice of 
what he said. He wants me" (winking and smiling) 
" to go home with him ; now you listen." 


" Well, come," said I to uncle Toby, " get on your 
horse, and go home ; a very heavy rain is coming up." 

" I'll go presently ; but you just listen to Bill," said 
he to me, winking and smiling. 

" Oh, daddy, for the Lord's sake let's go home." 

Toby smiled archly at me, and winked. * 

" Daddy, are you going home or not 1 Jist look at 
the rain comin'." 

Toby smiled and winked. 

" Well, I do think a drunken man is the biggest fool 
in the county," said Bill, " I don't care who he is." 

"Bill!" said the old man, very sternly, "'honour 
thy father and mother,' that — that the woman's seed 
may bruise the serpent's head." 

" Well, daddy, tell me if you won't go home ! You 
see it's going to rain powerful. If you won't go, may 
I go?" 

" Bill ! ' Leave not thy father who begat thee ; for 
thou art my beloved son Esau, in whom I am well 
pleased.' " 

" Why, daddy, it's dropping rain now." 

Here Bill was relieved from his anxiety by the ap- 
pearance of Aaron, a trusty servant, whom Mrs. Slow 
had despatched for his master, to whose care Bill com- 
mitted him, and was soon out of sight. 

Aaron's custom had long been to pick up his mas 
ter without ceremony, put him on his horse, and bear 
him away. So used to this dealing had Toby been, 
that, when he saw Aaron, he surrendered at discretion, 
and was soon on the road. But as the rain descended 
in torrents before even Bill could have proceeded half 
a mile, the whole of them must have been drenched to 
the skin. 

As to Hardy, whom in the proper order we ought 
to have disposed of first, he was put on his horse by 
main force, and was led off by his wife, to whom he 
was muttering, as far as I could hear him, " Why, 
Nancy ! how, did, you, get, in, such a fix ? You'll, 
fall, off, your, horse, sure, as you're born, and I'll 
have to put you up again." As they were constrained 


to go on a walk, they too must have got wringing wet, 
though they had a quarter of an hour the start of Toby. 



I had often read of the fox-chase and its soul-enli- 
vening pleasures before I was permitted to enjoy them ; 
and, had my reading upon this head been confined to 
Somerville's Chase alone, I should have been inspired 
with an irrepressible curiosity to experience its thrill- 
ing enjoyments. Listen how he sanctifies the sport, 
and mingles with it all that is gay and spirit-stirring : 

" But yet, alas ! the wily fox remain'd 
A subtle, pilfering foe, prowling around 
In midnight shades, and wakeful to destroy. 
In the full fold, the poor defenceless lamb, 
Seized by his guileful arts, with sweet warm blood 
Supplies a rich repast. The mournful ewe, 
Her dearest treasure lost through the dim night, 
Wanders perplex'd, and darkling bleats in vain, 
While in th' adjacent bush poor Philomel 
(Herself a parent once, till wanton churls 
Despoil'd her nest) joins in her loud laments, 
With sweeter notes and more melodious wo. 

For these nocturnal thieves, huntsmen prepare 
The sharpest vengeance. Oh ! how glorious 'tis 
To right th' oppress'd, and bring the felon vile 
To just disgrace ! Ere yet the morning peep, 
Or stars retire from the first blush of day, 
With thy far echoing voice alarm thy pack 
And rouse thy bold compeers. Then to the copse, 
Thick with entangling grass and prickly furze, 
With silence lead thy many-colour'd hounds, 
In all their beauty's pride. See ! how they range 
Dispersed, how busily this way and that 
They cross, examining with curious nose 
Each likely haunt. Hark ! on the drag I hear 
Their doubtful notes, preluding to the cry 
More nobly full, and swell'd with every mouth. 

Heavens! what melodious strains ! how beat our hearts, 
Big with tumultuous joy ! the loaded gales 


Breathe harmony ; and as the tempest drives 
From wood to wood, through every dark recess, 
The forest thunders and the mountains shake 

***** He breaks away. 

Shrill horns proclaim his flight. Each straggling hound 

Strains o'er the lawn to reach the distant pack : 

'Tis triumph all and joy. Now, my brave youths, 

Now give a loose to the clean, generous steed ; 

Flourish the whip, nor spare the galling spur ; 

But in the madness of delight forget 

Your fears. For o'er the rocky hills we range, 

And dangerous our course ; but in the brave 

True courage never fails. In vain the stream 

In foaming eddies whirls ; in vain the ditch 

Wide-gaping threatens death. The craggy steep, 

Where the poor dizzy shepherd crawls with care, 

And clings to every twig, gives us no pain; 

But down we sweep, as stoops the falcon bold 

To pounce his prey." * • * * * 

Filled with such ideas as these lines are calculated 
to inspire (and long as is the extract, it does but half 
justice to the poet, whatever we may think of his sub. 
ject), it was with kindling enthusiasm that I met the 
question from my old friend Dause, on a clear, chill 
December's' evening, 

" Will you not join us in a fox-chase to-morrow ?" 

"That I will," replied I, "with pleasure." 

" Have you ever been in a fox-chase ?" continued he. 

" Never," said I ; " but I have no doubt but that I 
should be delighted with it." 

" Oh, it's the finest sport in the world, with a full 
pack ! and we shall have a splendid pack to-morrow. 
Major Crocket is coming in with his hounds, and 
George Hurt is to bring in his, and all unite with Cap- 
tain Reid's here ; and we shall have a pack of twenty. 
two or three. We shall have glorious sport ; you 
must not fail to join us." 

" No fear of that," said I ; " I shall be among the 
first on the ground." 

I went home (no matter where), and hastened to 
bed at an earlier hour than usual, that I might be the 
surer to rise by times in the morning. But, so bright 
was the anticipation of the coming joys, that it was 
long before I could compose myself to sleep ; and 


when I did, it was rather the semi-sleep of vigilance 
than the sound sleep of rest. It was sufficient, how. 
ever, to beguile the intervening hours ; and they seem, 
ed but few, before the long-drawn notes of Crocket's 
horn roused me from my slumbers. I sprang from 
my bed, and, without waiting to throw over me a stitch 
of clothing (though the weather was extremely cold), 
I seized my ram's-horn, hoisted a window, and blew a 
blast which, if it had had fair play, would have waked 
every hound within five miles round. But it had not 
fair play ; for, partly from hurry, and partly from my 
indisposition to thrust my exposed body into the open 
air, I just gave the mouth of my horn projection enough 
to throw half its voice out and half inside the house. 
The first half did no great things ; but the last half 
did wonders. Bursting upon the unsuspecting family 
at that still hour, it created a sensation which no one 
can understand who was not at the falling of the walls 
of Jericho. The house trembled, the glasses rattled, 
the women started, and the children screamed. 

" What's that !" exclaimed the mistress of the house- 

" Mr. Hall is going a fox-hunting," said her husband. 

" Well, I wish he'd blow for his foxes out of the 
house. I can't see what any man of common sense 
wants to be gitting up this time of night for, in such 
cold weather, just to hear dogs run a fox." 

It struck me there was a good deal of sound philos- 
ophy in the good lady's remarks ; but she was a wom- 
an, and she had never read Somerville. 

I dressed myself, walked out, waked my servant, and 
ordered my horse. Truly it was a lovely morning for 
the season of the year : December never ushered in 
one more lovely. Like a sheet of snow the frost over- 
spread the earth ! Not a breath was stirring. The 
coming huntsman had sounded his horn upon a distant ( 
hill, and its unrepeated notes had died away. A cloud- 
less sky o'erspread the earth, as rich in beauty as ever 
won the gaze of mortal. Upon the western verge, in 
all his martial glory, stood Orion ; his burnished epau- 

THE FOX-HUN x\ 169 

lets and spangled sash with unusual brightness glow- 
ing. Capella glittered brighter still, and Castor, Pro- 
cyon, and Arcturus rivalled her in lustre. But Sir. 
ius reigned the monarch of the starry host ; and count- 
less myriads of lesser lights glowed, and sparkled, and 
twinkled o'er all the wide-spread canopy. 

" Oh !" exclaimed I, " how rich, how beautiful, how 
glorious the firmament ! See ! yonder is Bootes in the 
chase ! His Chara and Asterion drive on the lusty 
Bear ! who shall condemn the chase, when its pleas- 
ures are written in characters of deathless fire upon 
the face of the heavens !" 

I was lost in admiration of the splendours which 
surrounded me, when another sound of the major's 
horn informed me that he was upon the confines of 
the village ; and, at the same instant, my servant an- 
nounced that my horse was in waiting. As I ap« 
proached him for the purpose of mounting, 

" Master," said he, " you gwine fox-huntin' on da 

" Yes," said I, promptly : " why ?" 

"Eh-eh," rejoined he, with a titter. 

" Why, what is it amuses you so, Isaac ?" 

" Bess de Lord ! Smooth-tooth wa'nt never made for 
fox-huntin', I know. He too lazy, bess de Lord. 
Time de noun' give one squall, dey done leff Smooth- 
tooth clean outen sight an' hearin'." 

" Oh, I presume not, Isaac," said I. " I shall not 
attempt to keep up with the hounds : I shall just keep 
in full hearing of them by cutting across and heading 

" Eh-eh ! Fox run twice round a field 'fore Smooth, 
tooth cut across him, I know : bess de Lord." 

One would suppose that Isaac's hint would have re- 
minded me to take a whip or spur, or both, along with 
me ; but it did not. 

Crocket's horn was answered by several from the 
neighbouring hills; and, before I had proceeded the 
eighth of a mile towards the point of rendezvous, a 
loud chorus of horns and beagles announced that all 


were assembled but myself. I raised my ram's-horn 
and blew a more propitious blast than my first, in to- 
ken that I was on my way. My horse, as the reader 
has perhaps conjectured, from the colloquy just repeat- 
ed, was not Somerville's "clean, generous steed ;" but 
he was a horse of uncommon gravity and circumspec- 
tion. I gave him the name of Smooth-tooth simply be- 
cause, when he became my property, the faces of his 
teeth were generally worn smooth. Though he was 
kind and accommodating enough in all matters of busi- 
ness, he had an utter aversion to everything like levity, 
and to all rambles which seemed to have no definite 
object. Age had done much, doubtless, in sobering 
Smooth-tooth's temper ; but infirmity had conspired 
with age to produce this effect ; for he was most lam- 
entably deaf: so that the common remark of our 
state in relation to aged horses, " he has heard it 
thunder too often," would by no means have applied 
to Smooth-tooth ; for, to my certain knowledge, he 
had not heard it thunder for five years at least. 

I bent my course towards the village, and as Smooth- 
tooth was wholly unconscious of the uproar there, he 
set out, as usual, upon a gentle pace. By a diligent 
application of heels, I signified to him that I looked 
for something more sprightly upon this occasion. 
Smooth-tooth took the hint, and mended his pace ; but 
I informed him, as before, that this would not do. He 
then paced brisker still ; but this did not abate my 
rigour. He then paced to .the top of his speed, and, 
finding me still unsatisfied, he struck, most reluctantly, 
into a lazy canter. This reduced my heats from tri- 
ple to common time, but did not bring them to a full 
pause. At the end of five long, awkward, reluctant 
lopes, Smooth-tooth stopped with a demi-semiquaver 
rest, and wheeled at the same instant to go home, in 
utter disgust ; for he seemed now to have satisfied 
himself that I had taken leave of my senses, and that 
it was high time for him to " throw himself upon his 
reserved rights." As I always entertained a high 
respect for these, I accommodated myself to his views, 


alter having discovered that he was not to be forced 
out of them. There was, however, some policy mixed 
with my clemency ; for, slowly as Smooth-tooth mo- 
ved in his master effort, he waked up an artificial 
breeze, which seemed to search the very cavities of 
my bones, and which already produced some unac- ' 
knowledged yearnings for the comfortable bed which I 
had deserted. 

When I reached the village I found all the huntsmen 
collected ; and after a little delay, occasioned by a 
dog-fight, or, rather, a fight of one dog against all the 
rest (for hounds, like the wily politicians of the pres- 
ent day, all jump on the undermost), we moved for. 
ward to the hunting ground. This lay three miles 
from the village ; and, could anything have enlivened 
the jaunt, my company would, for it consisted of a 
merry group of every variety of disposition. But a 
freezing man cannot be lively ; and, consequently, I 
was not. 

Our pack consisted of eighteen or twenty hounds ; 
but there were but two of them which could be relied 
on with confidence : George Hurt's Louder, and Cap- 
tain Reid's Rome. With these I was well acquainted, 
having often been with them in the deer and rabbit 
hunt. Could I say, like Horace, " exigi monumentum 
cere perennius" they should be immortalized ; for bet- 
ter dogs never mingled in the chase. They knew per- 
fectly well, from the hour of the hunt and the equip- 
ments of the huntsmen, the game of which they were 
in pursuit ; and no other would they notice. 

Capt. Reid's Music was said to be remarkably 
" cold ,-" but her veracity was questionable. Her 
ambition never aimed at anything higher than find- 
ing the track for fleeter-footed hounds. When the 
game was up, she soon " knocked out," and went in 
quest of cold trails ; why or wherefore, no one could 
tell, unless it was that she had the common fault of 
those who possess peculiar accomplishments. Her 
habit was to get a trail, and, if she could not lead off 
on it readily, to " open" by the half hour upon so much 
of it as lay within the compass of three rods square. 


We had proceeded about two miles on our way, when, 
in a washed field to our right, Music opened. 

" What dog's that ?" inquired several voices at once. 

" It's Music," said the captain ; " she's the coldest 
hound of the pack." 

The majority were for moving on, regardless of Mu- 
sic's cry ; but, in courtesy to the captain, who had more 
confidence in her than the rest of us, we agreed " to 
wait on her a little." 

" Speak to him, Music !" said the captain. 

Music opened again. 

" Try for him, Music !" 

Music opened again. 

" Let's go to her," said the captain ; " there's not 
much confidence to be placed in her, but it may be a 

We went, and, as soon as Music saw us, she seemed 
highly delighted at our attentions ; ran into a little gul- 
ly ; put her nose to the ground ; seemed in doubt ; 
rooted in the dirt a little way ; then raised hei* head, 
paused a second, and trotted round a circle of ten yards' 
circumference, opening all the time as if the whole ho- 
rizon were lined with foxes ; that is, as though there 
were an abundance of foxes about, but they were a 
long way off. 

" Try for him again, Music !" said the captain. Mu- 
sic fidgeted about with great animation, shook her tail 
spiritedly, and, after taking a sweep of sixty feet, re- 
turned to the gully, and did as before. 

" I'm afraid it's too cold," said the captain. 

" Oh, no," said Colonel Peyton, waggishly, " let's 
wait on her. 'Bundance o' foxes in that gully ; only 
give Music time, and she'll fill it full o' dead foxes be- 
fore sunrise." 

" I reckon," said Stewart Andrews, in a long, drawl- 
ing, dry way, " that Music has got upon a ' Miss Mary 
Ann' that went along there last winter." 

The reader must here be informed, that when I went 
into the neighbourhood of which I have been speaking, 
the common appellation of the rabbit was " Molly Cot- 


ton-tail," as it still is elsewhere in Georgia ; but, as I 
thought this inelegant, if not vulgar, I prevailed upon 
my fellow-huntsmen to exchange it for a more classic 
term, which would preserve the sense, without offend- 
mg the most squeamish delicacy. At my suggestion, 
therefore, it was called the " Mary Cotton-tail," and 
afterward, by farther refinement, " Miss Mary Ann 
Cotton-tail." But to return : 

We were just about taking leave of Music, when a 
young, awkward, overgrown hound trotted up to her 
assistance. He arrived just as Music had paid a third 
visit to the track in the gully, and, as soon as she left 
it, he put his nose to the spot, snuffed a little, and then 
raised pne foot, and with it kindly scratched out the 
tantalizing track. While I sat " waiting upon" Miss 
Music, my freezing limbs forced me into this train ot 
reflection : " How could I have so far taken leave ot 
my senses as to promise myself any pleasure from such 
a jaunt as this ! It is extremely doubtful whether we 
shall start a fox ; and if we should, what are the cries 
of twenty hounds to three or four hour's exposure, with- 
out even an overcoat, upon such a piercing morning as 
this ! And wherein will the cry differ from that of the 
same pack in pursuit of a rabbit on a fine sunny day. 
And why seek amusement in the tortures of a poor 
unoffending animal ! In this country, at least, I never 
heard of a single loss from a farmyard which could be 
fairly traced to the fox ; not even of a goose, much less 
of a lamb. My rest broken, my health jeoparded, and 
my immediate sufferings excruciating ! Folly ! mad- 
ness in the extreme !" 

We had not proceeded far before groups of from 
two to five hounds could be heard in all directions in 
pursuit of Miss Mary A?in's. Hitherto my hopes had 
been buoyed up by the number of hounds ; for I natu- 
rally concluded that our chances of success increased 
with their number : but now I plainly saw that our 
only hope was upon Rome and Louder, for all the 
others had resigned themselves unreservedly to Mary 


174 • THE FOX-HUNT. 

We were moving on upon a skirt of woods, entire- 
ly surrounded by fields, when, from the opposite side 
of ft, the well-known voice of the deep mouthed Louder 
fell joyously upon our ears. " Hark !" cried all of us 
at once. In an instant the clear, shrill note of Rome 
confirmed his companion's report ; for they always 
hunted together, and each obeyed the call of the other 
in a moment. Then both together, then alternately in 
quick succession, they repeated their assurances. In 
an instant, all the various groups of hounds of which 
we were speaking were hushed, and from every direc- 
tion they could be seen dashing to the two favourites. 
Such is the force of truth even with dumb brutes. 

A loud scream of exultation and encouragement 
broke involuntarily from all the huntsmen (not except- 
ing myself), and each dashed for the hounds as the 
impulse of the moment urged him on. Some skirted 
the forest in one way, some in another ; but Crocket 
plunged directly through it at half speed ; how, Heav- 
en only knows ; but I had hardly missed him before I 
heard him encouraging the dogs in his presence. I 
took a moment for reflection, which, of course, I was 
permitted to enjoy alone. My conclusion was, that if 
Crocket could gallop through the wood with safety, I 
certainly could pace through it without injury ; and 
as this was much the nearest way, I determined to at- 
tempt it. My resolves were no sooner formed than 
they were communicated to Smooth-tooth, who enter- 
ed the wood with his accustomed prudence and cir- 

The first streaks of day had now appeared ; but 
they were entirely useless to me after I had entered the 
ferest. I had proceeded about sixty paces, when a limb 
of some kind (I know not what) fetched me a wipe across 
the face that set the principles of philosophy at defi- 
ance ; for it was certainly four times as severe as 
Smooth. tooth's momentum would have justified upon 
any known law of projectiles : at least it seemed so to 
me ; for it came like a flash of lightning over the icing 
of my face ; giving me, for the first time in my life, a 



sensible idea of the Georgia expression " feeling streak- 
ed ;" for my face actually felt as thoughit was cover- 
ed with streaks of fire and streaks of ice. 

Twenty paces more had like to have wound up my 
hunt with the felon's death ; for, as I was moving on 
with all due caution and sobriety, a little, supple, in- 
frangible grape-vine, attached to two slim, elastic sap- 
lings, between which I passed, threw one of its festoons 
gracefully around my neck, and politely informed me 
that I must stop or be hung. I communicated this in- 
telligence to Smooth-tooth without loss of time ; and, 
as stopping was his delight, he, of course, obeyed the 
mandate as quick as he could. Prompt as was his obe- 
dience, it was too slow for the petulant little grape- 
vine ; for, though it consented to spare my life, it dis- 
missed me with most ungentlemanly rudeness. It just 
took my profile from my neck upward, passing over all 
the turns and angles of my face with a rigour that Soc- 
rates himself could not have borne with patience. It 
returned from its delineation like a bowstring, sending 
my hat aloft, I know not how high ; but, judging from 
the time which intervened between its departure from 
my head and its report on the ground, I should say 
nearly to the height of the wedded saplings. Never 
but once before had I such a lively sense of the value 
of a hat in cold weather as I now had. The chills ran 
from my head to my toes like ague-fits ; and these I 
had to bear for the space of a minute or two, before I 
could feel out my hat. At last I recovered it and re- 
mounted. " How was it possible," exclaimed I, " for 
Crocket to get through this wood at half speed ! It 
must be true, that ' fortuna favet fortibus,'' and I'll e'en 
risk a little upon the strength of the maxim." Switch- 
es were convenient, as my misfortunes have pro- 
ved ; and, having supplied myself with one, I drew my 
hat over my eyes, brought my head down close to 
Smooth-tooth's withers, hugged him tight with my legs, 
and put whip to him manfully. Smooth-tooth now felt 
his dignity assailed, and he put off at a respectable 
fox-hunting gait. This soon brought me to the edge of 


the old field, with no other accident than a smart blow 
from a sapling upon my right knee, which, though it 
nearly unhorsed me, did me no serious injury. 

Here I found all my companions reassembled. 
While the drag lay within the frOst-covered field, the 
dogs carried it briskly ; but, as soon as it entered the 
wood, they were at fault. In this situation they were 
when I joined the huntsmen. It was long before we 
had any encouragement to hope that they would ever 
take it beyond the margin of the field ; occasionally, 
however, and at painful intervals, the two favourites 
would bid us not to despair. Crocket and three or 
four of the party remained with and encouraged the 
hounds ; while Andrews, Marden, and myself adjourn- 
ed to a narrow lane to enjoy the comforts of the risen 
sun. The sluggish trail allowed us an hour's basking ; 
which so far relaxed my rigid members as to prepare 
me for enjoying Marden's amusing stories and Stew- 
art's dry humour. While we were thus engaged, and 
after we had relinquished all hope .of a chase for that 
morning at least, the notes of the two favourites be- 
came more and more frequent. Soon a third and 
fourth voice joined them, and the chorus swelled and 
varied with every second, until eight in the morning, 
when the whole pack broke in full cry. Reynard was 
up, and twenty foes in hot pursuit. 

How or why I am unable to tell, but truth constrains 
me to say, that for some moments I was enraptured 
with the sport. The fox obliqued towards us, and en- 
tered a field of which our position commanded a full 
view. He must have left his covert with reluctance, 
for he was not more than a hundred paces ahead of the 
hounds when he entered the field. First of the pack, 
and side by side, the heroes of the clamorous band 
rose the fence. Then followed, in thick array, the 
whole troop : and close on their rear, Crocket burst 
through the copsewood and charged the fence without 
a pause. Around me, in every direction, I could see 
the huntsmen sweeping to the choir ; and as, emerging 
from the forests or gaining the heights around, they 


caught the first glimpse of the gallant pack, they raised 
a shout which none but the overcharged heart can give, 
and none but the lifeless heart receive unmoved. I* 
was soon deserted as before ; but, partly from the in- 
spiration of my recent experiment, I plied Smooth, 
tooth with the whip most astonishingly, and put off in 
pursuit of the hounds in handsome style, via the lane, 
which happened to have exactly the curvature which 
I desired. 

The fox had hardly left the field through which my 
eye followed him, before, all of a sudden, the voice of 
every hound hushed. They were completely at fault ; 
and thus I found them when I once more joined my 
company. They " knocked out," as the saying is, 
near to the corner of 'Squire Snibby's field, which lay 
contiguous to the first which they entered. Dogs and 
men here toiled assiduously to take the trail away, 
but in vain. At length Crocket suspected Reynard of 
a trick : he conjectured that the cunning rogue had as- 
cended the squire's fence, and followed it some distance 
before he alighted. And so it proved to be ; for, ta- 
king some of the dogs with him along the fence side, 
Crocket introduced them again to the trail, at the dis- 
tance of full three hundred yards from the point at 
which they lost it. The cry was now renewed with 
all its former spirit. The fox, huntsmen, and hounds 
took to the right ; but, as fields lay in that direction, I 
concluded that he would soon turn and follow the belt 
of woodland in the opposite direction ; I therefore took 
to the left by a pretty little path, which might possibly 
have exerted some influence upon my determination. 
I had not proceeded far before I encountered a large 
log lying directly across my path. Here I resolved to 
experiment a little, unobserved, upon Smooth-tooth's 
agility. " If," said I, " he clears that log in handsome 
style, I'll charge the first (low) fence that intercepts 
my pursuit." Accordingly, I put whip and heels to 
Smooth-tooth, who neared it elegantly ; but, as soon 
as he came within jumping distance, he stopped with a 
suddenness and self-composure which plainly signified 


that he expected me to let it down for him. The con 
sequence was, that I was very near being laid across 
ihe log for my pains. I now became testy, and resolv- 
ed that, as he would not "run and jump" it, he should 
" stand and jump" it. I therefore brought him up to 
it, and commenced the old discipline. After propo- 
sing to go round it either way without my approba- 
tion, he at length raised his fore feet, and threw them 
lazily over the log, coming down upon them as the 
white bear does in breaking ice, and stopped right 
astride of the log. I was now prompted by curiosity 
to see, if left to himself, whether he would stand there 
or go on ; and, strange as it may seem, his own free- 
will led him to neither alternative : for he was in the 
very act of drawing his fore feet back, with a kind of 
fall-down motion, when I gave him the whip, and for- 
ced him to drag, rather than lift, his hind feet over. 

This feat performed, I moved on about two hundred 
yards, when, as I had anticipated, I heard the hounds 
coming directly towards me. I stopped, and in a min- 
ute's time Reynard crossed the path within thirty steps 
of me. Then came the dogs in the order in which they 
entered the field ; and hard upon them came Crocket 
upon his foaming steed. 

" Did you see him ?" exclaimed he, finding me near 
the trail. 

" Yes," said I, " distinctly." 

" How was his tail 1" 

" I didn't notice particularly, but sticking to him, I 

" Oh, nonsense !" said Crocket ; " was his brush up 
or down?" 

" Neither," said I ; "he brushed right across." 

Here the major uttered something harsh, and dashed 
on. I afterward learned that experienced fox-hunters 
know the extent of his exhaustion from the manner in 
which he carries his tail. 

Having reasoned out the fox's monument this time 
successfully, I concluded I could do the like again : 1 
therefore reasoned that, after rambling about a shor* 


time, he would seek the neighbourhood of his burrow. 
Accordingly, I paced back (going round the log this 
time) to a position where I might intercept him. Here 
I remained about an hour, without hearing man, horse, 
or dog : and then I paced home, where I arrived at 
eleven o'clock, perfectly satisfied with fox-hunting. 

When my companions returned, they reported that, 
five miles from where I was waiting for the fox, and 
seven from the village, at about two o'clock P.M., 
right in the big road, near Richland Creek, the dogs 
" knocked out," and could never be knocked in again. 

But they brought home a rich fund of anecdote from 
the chase, which served to enliven many an idle hour 
afterward ; I reserved mine to the present moment, 
to enliven the family fireside on these cold winter's 



In the city of resided once a band of gay 

spirits, who, though they differed from each other in 
some respects, were all alike in this, that they were 
fond of fun. 

Billy Grossly was an odd compound of grave and 
humorous. He seldom projected a scheme of amuse- 
ment, but never failed to take part in it when it was 
set on foot by others. Why, it was not easy to tell ; 
for, if he enjoyed the most amusing pastime at all, his 
enjoyment was all inward ; for he rarely laughed, or 
gave any other visible sign of lively pleasure. 

Jack Clomes seemed to have been made for fun. It 
was his meat and his drink : he could no more live 
without it, than he could live without his ordinary diet. 
Withal, Jack had a wonderful talent for manufacturing 
food for his prevailing appetite. Indeed, his fault was. 


that he never could be got to perform his part in a hu- 
morous exhibition, which required concert with others, 
without digressing from the main plot whenever he dis- 
covered a fair opportunity of picking up a delicate mor- 
sel of fun precisely suited to his own palate. 

James M'Lass was fond of a harmless frolic, and, 
whenever he engaged in it, if by proconcert, he always 
made it a point of honour to perform his part in strict 
obedience to the original design. 

These three, with six or eight others, whose disposi- 
tions it is not necessary to mention, visited the village 

of r- in order to attend the races which were in 

progress in the vicinity of that place. 

Towards the close of the races, it was discovered 
that the joint funds of the whole fraternity were not suf. 
ficient to discharge the tavern-bills of any two of them. 
What was to be done in this emergency ? To have 
borrowed would have been extremely mortifying, and 
perhaps a little inconvenient ; to have gone away with- 
out paying their tavern-bills would have been contrary 
to the first principles of Georgia honour. They were 
soon relieved from their dilemma by the ingenuity of 

During the races a "Down Easter" had been exhibit- 
ing wax figures in the village ; and concluding that the 
profits of his business would end with the sports of the 
turf, he had begun to pack up his portables for removal 
to a more eligible station. 

Clomes now proposed that his company should take 
the places and parts of the retiring figures ; or, to use 
his own expression, " should play wax-works," until 
they made enough to pay their bills. A single night, 
it was thought, would suffice for this purpose. 

The plan was no sooner proposed than it was em- 
braced by all. The room and its furniture were en- 
gaged for the evening ; the parts were cast without 
difficulty ; and each went industriously to work, to fit 
himself for the part he was to perform. 

Billy Grossly, having the advantage of all the rest in 
height and abdominal rotundity, was, by common con. 


sent, chosen as a proper representative of Daniel Lam- 
bert, the prodigious Englishman, who weighed, if I re- 
member rightly, upward of six hundred pounds. The 
reader need hardly be told, that, with all his advantages, 
Billy required the aid of at least eight pillows, wit's 
some extra chinking, as we say in Georgia, to give hire 
a bulk corresponding with this enormous weight : nor 
need he be told that divers of the most decent bags 
which the village afforded, with a small sheet, were pm 
in requisition, to contain him and his adjuncts. 

Freedom Lazenby was the only one of the company 
who could, with any propriety, personify the Sleeping 
Beauty ; and, of course, this part was assigned to him. 
Freedom's figure was quite too gross for the beau ideal 
of female symmetry ; and his face, though fine for a 
man, had rather too much compass to represent na- 
ture's finest touches of female beauty. However, it 
was soon perceived that a counterpane would hide the 
defects of the first, and a deep-frilled cap would reduce 
the last to passable effeminacy. But there were two 
othqr difficulties which were not so easily removed. It 
is well known that the interest of the Sleeping Beauty is 
much enlivened by an exposed bosom, by which reposes 
a lovely infant. Even Clomes's ingenuity could not 
supply these. A living child would not answer ; for, 
whether taken to the arms of the Beauty asleep or 
awake, it would be certain to give signs of life before 
the exhibition ended ; and there was not even a toler- 
able manufacturer of bosoms in the whole village. 
There was no alternative ; the interest of the spectators 
must yield to the necessities of the performers : it was 
therefore determined that the Beauty's bosom should 
share the fate of her person, and be covered ; that an 
infant should be manufactured in the best possible style, 
out of rags ; and that the paint-brush should supply 
the place of wax for the face. As there were no 
Raphaels, Titians, Wests, or Debuffes in the village, 
the little innocent did not come from the hands of the 
artist with the most perfect face imaginable ; but it was 


the best that could be given to it ; and, if it wanted in. 
terest, that was not the fault of the company. 

To James M'Lass was assigned the part of Miss 
Eliza Failes, the unfortunate girl who was murdered 
by her unnatural lover, Jason Fairbanks ; and Clomes 
took the part of the murderer. 

It was proposed to represent Miss Failes at the mo- 
ment when the blood was streaming from the lacerated 
throat ; but Jemmy refused to personify her in that con- 
dition, and therefore they had to place him in another 
part of the tragedy. That was selected in which Fair- 
banks has his victim by the hair with the left hand, the 
knife upraised in the right, in the act of commencing 
his work of butchery. 

The other figures, being merely distinguished per- 
sonages, were easily represented. 

From some cause unknown, perhaps to invite visit- 
ers, or merely because, perhaps, it was a matter that 
lay fully within the range of the company's art, they 
resolved to exhibit a corpse in the antechamber gratis ; 
and Pleasant Halgroce, a jolly son of Bacchus, kindly 
offered to play this part. Every child knows that a 
plate of burning spirits, with a little salt thrown into it, 
will throw over the features of a living person all the 
paleness and ghastliness of death. This was the only 
device used to convert Pleasant's smirky red face into 
that of a corpse. 

All matters being now arranged, and the performers 
having practised their parts in their new characters 
until they ceased to be ridiculous, they all took their 
places after an early supper. 

Before the doors were opened to the principal ex- 
hibition, a little incident occurred in the antecham- 
ber which suddenly closed the entertainment in this 
quarter, and had a material bearing upon that in the 

Pleasant Halgroce had taken his position, and was 
playing a corpse to the life, or, rather, to the death, a 
number of persons gathered round him, with becoming 
solemnity, when a dumb man, who was devotedly at- 


tached to him, joined the group. As soon as his eyes 
fell upon the prostrate body of Pleasant, he burst into 
the most piteous and unaffected wailing. Nothing 
could restrain him from embracing his departed friend. 
He approached him, and was in the act of bending over 
him, to give him affection's fondest adieu, when a pretty 
stiff breeze from Pleasant's lips, strengthened by pre- 
vious suppression, charged with the fumes of about half 
a pint of brandy, saluted the face of the mourner. The 
transition from grief to joy was instantaneous with the 
poor mute. He rose in transports ; pointed to Pleas- 
ant's face, then to his own, touched his nose, gave it 
a significant curl, snuffed gently, and then clapping 
both hands to his stomach, he commenced inhaling and 
respiring, with all the tone and emphasis of a pair of 
blacksmith's bellows. Pleasant, now perceiving that 
exposure was inevitable, rose, and rushed upon the 
dumb man with the fury of a tiger. ' This sudden 
resuscitation of Pleasant to life in its most healthful 
action, was as alarming to the mute as his breathing 
had been joyous ; and he fled, with Pleasant at his 
heels, as though all the tenants of the churchyard had 
risen upon him at once. 

Pleasant had only to resume his dress, and appear in 
a natural light, to pass unknown by all but the initiated ; 
for, aside from burning brandy, he was no more like a 
corpse than a rose is like a lily. 

Pleasant, being now out of employment, determined 
to take upon himself the part of historian to the wax 

The door leading to the figures was no sooner open- 
ed, than several persons entered, and viewed them with 
apparent satisfaction. The spectators had increased 
to the number of eight or ten, when a raw-boned, 
awkward, gawky son of the forest, named Rory Brush- 
wood, made his appearance, paid his money, and enter- 
ed. Pleasant, of course, undertook to enrich his mind 
with historic lore, while he feasted his eye upon the 
won^rs of art. 

" This," said Pleasant, leading Rory up to the Sleep- 


ing Beauty, " is the Sleeping Beauty : she s given 
up on all hands to be the prettiest creature in the 
universal world. Now what would you give, my old 
Snort, to have as pretty a wife and as pretty a baby as 
that ?" 

" Humph !" said Rory, " I don't think she's so d — d 
pretty as she mout be : and as for the baby, it looks 
like a screech-owl in petticoats." 

" Monstrous pretty ! monstrous pretty !" continued 
Pleasant. " But come here" — hurrying Rory off, lest 
his remarks should wake the Sleeping Beauty — " come 
here, and I'll show you something that'll make your 
hair rise like a fighting cat's." 

" There !" continued he, pointing to Billy Grossly 
" just take a squint at that fellow, will you : that's Dan. 
iel Lambert : he was born in Nocatchey, and was rais- 
ed upon nothing but grass-nuts and sweet potatoes ; and 
just see what he's come to ! He weighs nine hundred 
and fifty, dead weight." 

" He's a whaler !" said Rory ; " but his face is 
mighty little for his belly and legs." 

" Oh," said Pleasant, " that's owing to the grass-nuts 
and potatoes : you know they always puff up the lower 
parts mightily." 

Nobody but Billy could have withstood this lecture 
upon himself without a smile ; but he passed it off ad- 

The critical time was now at hand. Pleasant and 
Rory advanced in front of Miss Failes and Mr. Fair- 
banks, where they found another visiter viewing the 
interesting couple. Pleasant deemed it unadvisable to 
continue his lectures in the presence of Clomes ; and, 
had Clomes himself been equally prudent, things might 
all have ended well : but he was not. 

While the three gentlemen just named were gazing 
on the figures before them, Jack took it into his head 
to try a little experiment upon Miss Failes's muscles, 
through the sensibilities of her head ; accordingly, he 
tightened his grip suddenly upon her hair, ^'his 
brought from her a slight wince ; but Jack did noiq)er- 




ceive it. Encouraged by her philosophy, ne made a 
second pull with all the strength that lay in the muscles 
and sinews of his left hand. 

This brought a palpable grin from Miss Failes ; and, 
what was worse, in the zeal of his experiments upon 
Jim's stoicism, Jack overacted his own part a little. 

" Gentlemen," said Rory, in a tone of awful dignity 
and self-satisfaction, as he turned gravely to the by- 
standers, " gentlemen, it's flesh and blood." 

" There," said Pleasant, " that just proves what I've 
said : that these are the best wax-works that ever was 
showed in all these parts. It's most impossible to tell 
'em from live folks." 

" Gentlemen," repeated Rory, with the same unruf- 
fled composure, " it's flesh and blood. If I didn't see 
that fellow wink, and that woman squinch her face, then 
hell's a dancing room." 

" No matter for that," said Pleasant, " they're nothin' 
but wax for all that : and, if you don't b'lieve me, just 
feel that fellow's cheek." 

Rory raised his finger slowly, as if actually doubting 
the evidence of his senses, and was just in the act of 
touching Jack's cheek, when Jack snapped at his finger 
like a shark, and caught it between his teeth with a 
force most unreasonable for fun. 

The shock was so unexpected and severe, that it com- 
pletely unmanned Rory for the instant, and he sunk 
powerless upon the floor. He soon rose, however, and 
rose with Miss Failes's chair, which happened to be va- 
cant just at this moment ; and then (to use an expres- 
sion of one of the characters), " if ever you saw wax- 
works cut dirt, they cut it then." 

Mr. Fairbanks was the first to make his escape, but 
not without being nearly overtaken by the chair. Miss 
Failes followed next ; then General Washington and 
other distinguished personages, whose attitudes pre. 
pared them for running. The Sleeping Beauty, being 
a little encumbered with bedclothes, was rather slow in 
retiring ; she was enough in a hurry, however, to leave 
her little infant in the middle of the floor to Rory's caree 
Q2 * 


who, discovering its true character just as Daniel Lam 
bert was removing his feathers to another apartment 
let him have the baby, with all his force, between the 
shoulders. As this was only rags against pillows, Dan- 
iel escaped as free from injury as the rest of them. 

Rory now became clamorous for his money ; but 
the doorkeeper was not to be found ; and, indeed, claim- 
ed and kept for his services all that was made, leaving 
the performers to settle their bills as they could. 



I love the aged matrons of our land. As a class, 
they are the most pious, the most benevolent, the most 
useful, and the most harmless of the human family. 
Their life is a life of good offices. At home they are 
patterns of industry, care, economy, and hospitality ; 
abroad, they are ministers of comfort, peace, and con- 
solation. Where affliction is, there are they to miti- 
gate its pangs ; where sorrow is, there are they to as- 
suage its pains. Nor night, nor day, nor summer's 
heat, nor winter's cold, nor angry elements, can deter 
them from scenes of suffering and distress. They are 
the first at the fevered couch, and the last to leave it. 
They hold the first and last cup to the parched lip. 
They bind the aching head, close the dying eye, an(? 
linger in the death-stricken habitation, to pour the las* 
drop of consolation into the afflicted bosoms of the be 
reaved. I cannot, therefore, ridicule them myself, noi 
bear to hear them ridiculed in my presence. And ye* 
I am often amused at their conversations ; and have 
amused them with a rehearsal of their own con versa, 
tions, taken down by me when they little dreamed thai 
I was listening to them. Perhaps my reverence for 
their character, conspiring with a native nropensity to 


extract amusement from all that passes under my ob- 
servation, has accustomed me to pay a uniformly strict 
attention to all they say in my presence. 

This much in extraordinary courtesy to those who 
cannot distinguish between a simple narrative of an 
amusing interview, and ridicule of the parties to it. 
Indeed, I do not know that the conversation which I am 
about to record will be considered amusing by any of 
my readers. Certainly the- amusement of the readers 
of rny own times is not the leading object of it, or of 
any of the " Georgia Scenes ;" forlorn as may be the 
hope that their main object will ever be answered. 

When I seated myself to the sheet now before me, 
my intention was merely to detail a conversation be- 
tween three ladies, which I heard many years since ; 
confining myself to only so much of it as sprung from 
the ladies' own thoughts, unawakened by the sugges- 
tions of others ; but, as the manner of its introduction 
will perhaps interest some of my readers, I will give it. 

I was travelling with my old friend, Ned Brace, when 
we stopped at the dusk of the evening at a house on 
the roadside for the night. Here we found three nice, 
tidy, aged matrons, the youngest of whom could not 
have been under sixty ; one of them, of course, was 
the lady of the house, whose husband, old as he was, 
had gone from home upon a land-exploring expedition. 
She received us hospitably, had our horses well attended 
to, and soon prepared for us a comfortable supper. 
While these things were doing, Ned and I engaged the 
other two in conversation ; in the course of which, Ned 
deported himself with becoming seriousness. The kind 
lady of the house occasionally joined us, and became 
permanently one of the party from the time the first 
dish was placed on the table. At the usual hour we 
were summoned to supper; and, as soon as we were 
seated, Ned, unsolicited, and most unexpectedly to me, 
said grace. I knew full well that this was a prelude 
to some trick, I could not conjecture what. His ex- 
planation (except so much as I discovered myself) was, 
that he knew that one of us would be asked to sa* 


grace, and he thought he might as well save the good 
ladies the trouble of asking. The matter was, however, 
more fully explained just before the moment of our re- 
tiring to bed arrived. To this moment the conversa- 
tion went round between the good ladies and ourselves 
with mutual interest to all. It was much enlivened by 
Ned, who was capable, as the reader has been hereto- 
fore informed, of making himself extremely agreeable 
in all company ; and who, upon this occasion, was upon 
his very best behaviour. It was immediately after I 
had looked at my watch, in token of my disposition to 
retire for the night, that the conversation turned upon 
marriages, happy and unhappy, strange, unequal, run- 
aways, &c. Ned rose in the midst of it, and asked 
the landlady where we should sleep. She pointed to 
an open shed-room adjoining the room in which we 
were sitting, and separated from it by a log partition, 
between the spaces of which might be seen all that 
passed in the dining-room ; and so close to the fire- 
place of this apartment, that a loud whisper might be 
easily heard from one to the other. 

"The strangest match," said Ned, resuming the 
conversation with a parson's gravity, " that ever I 
heard of, was that of George Scott and David Snow : 
two most excellent men, who became so much attach- 
ed to each other that they actually got married — " 

" The lackaday !" exclaimed one of the ladies. 

" And was it really a fact ?" inquired another. 

" Oh, yes, ma'am," continued Ned ; " I knew them 
very well, and often went to their house ; and no peo. 
pie could have lived happier or managed better than 
they did. And they raised a lovely parcel of chil- 
dren ; as fine a set as I ever saw, except their young- 
est son, Billy : he was a little wild, but, upon the whole, 
a right clever boy himself. Come, friend Baldwin, 
we're setting up too late for travellers." So saying, 
Ned moved to the shed-room, and I followed him. 

The ladies were left in silent amazement ; and Ngd, 
suspecting, doubtless, that they were listening for a 
laugh from our chamber as we entered it, continued the 


subject with unabated gravity, thus : " You knew those 
two men, didn't you V 

" Where did they live !" inquired I, not a little dis- 
posed to humour him. 

" Why, they lived down there, on Cedar Creek, close 
by Jacob Denman's. Oh, I'll tell you who their daugh- 
ter Nancy married : she married John Clarke ; you 
knew him very well." 

" Oh, yes," said I, " I knew John Clarke very well. 
His wife was a most excellent woman." 

" Well, the boys were just as clever, for boys, as she 
was for a girl, except Bill ; and I never heard anything 
very bad of him, unless it was his laughing in church ; 
that put me more out of conceit of him than anything 
I ever knew of him. — Now, Baldwin, when I go to 
bed, I go to bed to sleep, and not to talk ; and there- 
fore, from the time my head touches the pillow, there 
must be no more talking. Besides, we must take an 
early start to-morrow, and I'm tired." So saying, he 
hopped into his bed, and I obeyed his injunctions. 

Before I followed his example, I could not resist the 
temptation of casting an eye through the cracks of the 
partition, to see the effect of Ned's wonderful story 
upon the kind ladies^ Mrs. Barney (it is time to give 
their names) was setting in a thoughtful posture ; her 
left hand supporting her chin, and her knee supporting 
her left elbow. Her countenance was that of one who 
suffers from a slight toothache. Mrs. Shad leaned 
forward, resting her forearm on her knees, and looking 
into the fire as if she saw groups of children playing in 
it. Mrs. Reed, the landlady, who was the fattest of 
the three, was thinking and laughing alternately at 
short intervals. From my bed it required but a slight 
change of position to see any one of the group at 

I was no sooner composed on my pillow, than the 
old ladies drew their chairs close together, and began 
he following colloquy in a low under tone, which rose 
jS it progressed : 

Mrs. Barney. Didn't that man say them was two 
men that got married to one another ? 


Mrs. Shad. 'It seemed to me so. 

Mrs. Reed. Why, to be sure he did. I know he 
said so ; for he said what their names was. 

Mrs. B. Well, in the name o' sense, what did the 
man mean by saying they raised a fine parcel of chil- 
dren ? 

Mrs. R. Why, bless your heart and soul, honey ! 
that's what I've been thinkin' about. It seems mighty 
curious to me, some how or other. I can't study it 
out, no how. ' 

Mrs. S. The man must be jokin', certainly. 

Mrs. R. No, he wasn't jokin' ; for I looked at him, 
and he was just as much in yearnest as anybody I ever 
seed ; and besides, no Christian man would tell such a 
story in that solemn way. And didn't you hear that 
other man say he knew their da'ter Nancy ? 

Mrs. S. But, la messy ! Mis' Reed, it can't be so. 
It doesn't stand to reason ; don't you know it don't ? 

Mrs. R. Well, I wouldn't think so ; but it's hard for 
me somehow to dispute a Christian man's word. 

Mrs. B. I've been thinking the thing all over in my 
mind, and I reckon — now I don't say it is so, for I don't 
know nothing at all about it — but I reckon that one 
of them men was a woman dress'd in men's clothes; 
for I've often hearn o' women doin' them things, and 
following their true-love to the wars, and bein' a wait- 
in'-boy to 'em, and all sich. 

Mrs. S. Well, maybe it's some how in that way ; 
but, la me ! 'twould o' been obliged to been found out ; 
don't you know it would ? Only think how many chil- 
dren she had. Now it stands to reason, that at some 
time or other it must have been found out. 

Mrs. R. Well, I'm an old woman any how, and 1 
reckon the good man won't mind what an old woman 
says to him ; so, bless the Lord, if I live to see the 
morning, I'll ask him about it. 

I knew that Ned was surpassed by no man living in 
extricating himself from difficulties ; but how he was 
to escape from this, with even tolerable credit to him- 
self, I could not devise. 


The ladies here took leave of Ned's marvellous sto- 
ry, drew themselves closely round the fire, lighted their 
pipes, and proceeded as follows : 

Mrs. B. Jist before me and my old man was mar. 
ried, there was a gal name Nancy Mountcastle (puff, 
puff), and she was a mighty likely gal (puff) ; I know'd 
her mighty well ; she dressed herself up in men's 
clothes (puff, puff), and followed Jemmy Darden from 
P'ankatank, in King and Queen (puff), clean up to 

Mrs. S. (puff, puff, puff, puff, puff). And did he 
marry her? 

Mrs. B. (sighing deeply). No : Jemmy didn't 
marry her ; pity he hadn't, poor thing. 

Mrs. R. Well, I know'd a gal on Tar river done the 
same thing (puff, puff, puff). She followed Moses 
Rusher 'way down somewhere in the South State (puff, 

Mrs. S. (puff, puff, puff, puff). And what did he do ? 

Mrs. R. Ah ! (puff, puff). Lord bless your soul, 
honey, I can't tell you what he did. Bad enough. . 

Mrs. B. Well, now, it seems to me — I don't know 
much about it — but it seems to me, men don't like to 
marry gals that take on that way. It looks like it 
puts 'em out o' concait of 'em. 

Mrs. S. I know'd one man that married a woman 
that followed him from Car'lina to this state ; but she 
didn't dress herself in men's clothes. You both know 
'em. You know Simpson Trotty's sister and Ra- 
chael's son Reuben. 'Twas him and his wife. 

Mrs. R. and Mrs. B. Oh yes, I know 'em mighty 

Mrs. S. Well, it was his wife ; she followed him 
out to this state. 

Mrs. B. I know'd 'em all mighty well. Her da'ter 
Lucy was the littlest teeny bit of a thing when it was 
born I ever did see. But they tell me that, when I 
was born — now I don't know anything about it my- 
self — but the old folks used to tell me, that, when I 
was born, they put me in a quart mug, and mought o' 
covered me up in it. 


Mrs. S. Thelackaday! 

Mrs. R. What ailment did Lucy die of, Mis' Bar- 

Mrs. B. Why, first she took the ager and fever, and 
took a 'bundance o' doctor's means for that. And 
then she got a powerful bad cough, and it kept gittin' 
worse and worse, till at last it turned into a consump- 
tion, and she jist nat'ly wasted away, till she was no- 
thing but skin and bone, and she died ; but, poor crea- 
ter, she died mighty happy ; and 1 think, in my heart, 
she made the prettiest corpse, considerin', of anybodj 
I most ever seed. 

Mrs. R. and Mrs. S. Emph ! (solemnly). 

Mrs. R. What did the doctors give her for the fe- 
ver and ager 1 

Mrs. B. Oh, they gin' her a 'bundance o' truck ; 1 
don't know what all ; and none of 'em holp her at all. 
But at last she got over it, some how or other. If 
they'd have just gin' her a sweat o' bitter yerbs, jist as 
the spell was comin' on, it would have cured her right 

Mrs. R. Well, I reckon sheep-saffron the onliest 
thing in nater for the ager. 

Mrs. B. I've always hearn it was wonderful in 
hives and measly ailments. 

Mrs. R. Well, it's just as good for an ager; it's a 
powerful sweat. Mrs. Clarkson told me, that her 
cousin Betsy's aunt Sally's Nancy was cured sound 
and well by it, of a hard shakin' ager. 

Mrs. S. Why, you don't tell me so ! 

Mrs. R. Oh, bless your heart, honey, it's every word 
true ; for she told me so with her own mouth. 

Mrs. S. " A hard, hard shakin' ager ! !" 

Mrs. R. Oh yes, honey, it's the truth. 

Mrs. S. Well, I'm told that if you'll wrap the in- 
side skin of an egg round your little finger, and go 
three days reg'lar to a young persimmon, and tie a 
string round it, and every day tie three knots in it, and 
then not go agin for three days, that the ager will 
leave you. 


Mrs. B. I've often hearn o' that, but I don't know 
about it. Some people don't believe in it. 

Mrs. S. Well, Davy Cooper's wife told me she 
didn't believe in it ; but she tried it, and it cured her 
sound and well. 

Mrs. R. I've hearn of many folks bein' cured in 
that way. And what did they do for Lucy's cough, 
Mis' Barney. 

Mrs. B. Oh, dear me, they gin her a powerful 
chance o' truck. I reckon, first and last, she took at 
least a pint o' lodimy. 

Mrs. S. and Mrs. R. The law ! 

Mrs. S. Why that ought to have killed her, if no- 
thing else. If they'd jist gin' her a little cumfry and 
alecampane, stewed in honey, or sugar, or molasses, 
with a little lump o' mutton suet or butter in it, it 
would have cured her in two days, sound and well. 

Mrs. B. I've always counted cumfry and alecam- 
pane the lead of all verbs for colds. 

Mrs. S. Horehound and sugar's mazin good. 

Mrs. B. Mighty good, mighty good. 

Mrs. R. Powerful good. I take mightily to a sweat 
of sage-tea in desperate bad colds. 

Mrs. S. And so do I, Mis' Reed. Indeed, I have a 
great leanin' to sweats of yerbs, in all ailments sich as 
colds, and rheumaty pains, and pleurisies, and sich ; 
they're wonderful good. Old brother Smith came to 
my house from Bethany meeting in a mighty bad way 
with a cold and cough, and his throat and nose all stop, 
ped up ; seemed like it would 'most take his breath 
away ; and it was dead o' winter, and I had nothin' but 
dried yerbs, sich as camomile, sage, pennyryal, cat- 
mint, horehound, and sich ; so I put a hot rock to his 
feet, and made him a large bowl o' catmint tea, and I 
reckon he drank most two quarts of it through the 
night, and it put him in a mighty fine sweat, and loos- 
ened all the phleem, and opened all his head ; and the 
next morning, says he to rne, says he, sister Shad — 
you know he's a mighty kind spoken man, and always 
was so 'fore he joined society ; and the old man likes 


a joke yet right well, the old man does ; but he's a 
mighty good man, and I think he prays with greater 
libity than most any one of his age I most ever seed , 
don't you think he does, Mis' Reed ? 

Mrs. R. Powerful. 

Mrs. B. Who did he marry ? 

Mrs. S. Why he married — stop, I'll tell you direct- 
ly. Why, what does make my old head forget so ? 

Mrs. B. Well, it seems to me I don't remember like 
I used to. Didn't he marry a Ramsbottom ? 

Mrs. R. No. Stay, I'll tell you who he married 
presently. Oh, stay ! why I'll tell you who he mar- 
ried ! He married old daddy Johny Hooer's da'ter 

Mrs. S. Why, la ! messy on me, so he did ! 

Mrs. B. Why, did he marry a Hooer 1 

Mrs. S. Why, to be sure he did. You knew Mour- 

Mrs. B. Oh, mighty well ; but I'd forgot that broth. 
er Smith married her : I really thought he married a 

Mrs. R. Oh no, bless your soul, honey, he married 

Mrs. B. Well, the law me, I'm clear beat ! 

Mrs. S. Oh, it's so, you may be sure it is. 

Mrs. B. Emp, emph, emph, emph ! And brother 
Smith married Mournin' Hooer ! Well, I'm clear put 
out ! Seems to me I'm gittin' mighty forgetful, some 

Mrs. S. Oh yes, he married Mournin', and I saw 
her when she joined society. 

Mrs. B. Why, you don't tell me so ! 

Mrs. S. Oh, it's the truth. She didn't join till aftei 
she was married, and the church took on mightily 
about his marrying one out of society. But after she 
joined they all got satisfied. 

Mrs. R. Why, la ! me, the seven stars is 'way ovei 
here ! 

Mrs. B. Well, let's light our pipes, and take a short 
smoke, and go to bed. How did you come on raisin" 
chickens this year, Mia' Shad ? 


Mrs. S. La messy, honey ! I have had mighty bad 
luck. I had the prettiest pa &el you most ever seedtiii 
the varment took to killin' 'em. 

Mrs. R. and Mrs. B. The varment ! ! 

Mrs. S. Oh dear, yes. The hawk catched a pow- 
erful sight of them ; and then the varment took to 'em, 
and nat'ly took 'em fore and aft, bodily, till they left 
most none at all hardly. Sucky counted 'em up t'oth- 
er day, and there warn't but thirty-nine, she said, count- 
in' in the old speckle hen's chickens that jist come off 
of her nest. 

Mrs. R. and Mrs. B. Humph-h-h-h ! 

Mrs. R. Well, I've had bad luck too. Billy's 
hound-dogs broke up most all my nests. 

Mrs. B. Well, so they did me, Mis' Reed. I al- 
ways did despise a hound-dog upon the face of yea'th. 

Mrs. R. Oh, they're the bawllinest, squallinest, 
thievishest things ever was about one ; but Billy will . 
have 'em, and I think in my soul his old Troup's the 
beat of all creaters I ever seed in all my born days a 
suckin' o' hen's eggs. He's clean most broke me up 

Mrs. S. The lackaday ! 

Mrs. R. And them that was hatched out, some took 
to takin' the gaps, and some the pip, and one ailment 
or other, till they most all died. 

Mrs. S. Well, I reckon there must be somethin' in 
the season this year that an't good for fowls : for Lar- 
kin Goodman's brother Jimme's wife's aunt Penny told 
me, she lost most all her fowls with different sorts of 
ailments, the like of which she never seed before. 
They'd jist go 'long lookin' right well, and tilt right 
over backward (Mrs. B. The law !) and die right 
away (Mrs. R. Did you ever !), with a sort o' some- 
thin' like the blind staggers. 

Mrs. B. and Mrs. R. Messy on me ! 

Mrs. B. I reckon they must have eat somethin' 
didn't agree with them. 

Mrs. S. No they didn't, for she fed 'em every morn, 
in' with her own hand. 


Mrs. B. WelJ, it's mighty curious ! 

A short pause ensued, which was broken by Mrs. 
Barney with, " And brother Smith married Mournin' 
Hooer !" It came like an opiate upon my senses, and 
I dropped asleep. 

The next morning, when we rose from our beds, we 
found the good ladies sitting round the fire just as I 
left them, for they rose long before us. 

Mrs. Barney was just in the act of ejaculating, 
" And brother Smith married Mournin' — " when she 
was interrupted by our entry into the dining-room. 
We were hardly seated before Mrs. Reed began to 

verify her promise. " Mr. ," said she to Ned, 

" didn't you say last night that them was two men that 
got married to one another ?" 

" Yes, madam," said Ned. 

■" And didn't you say they raised a fine pa'cel of chil- 
dren ?" 

" Yes, madam, except Billy. I said, you know, that 
he was a little wild." 

" Well, yes ; I know you said Billy wasn't as clever 
as the rest of them. But we old women were talking 
about it last night after you went out, and none of ua 
could make it out how they could have children ; and 
I said, I reckoned you wouldn't mind an old woman's 
chat ; and, therefore, that I would ask you how it could 
be 1 I suppose you won't mind telling an old woman 
how it was." 

" Certainly not, madam. They were both widow- 
ers before they fell in love with each other and got 

" The lackaday ! I wonder none of us thought o' 
that. And they had children before they got mar- 
ried ?" 

" Yes, madam ; they had none afterward that I 
heard of." 

We wei'e here informed that our horses were in 
waiting, and we bade the good ladies farewell. 




Shooting-matches are probably nearly coeval with 
the colonization of Georgia. ~ They~are still common 
throughout the Southern States, though they are not 
as common as they were twenty-five or thirty years 
ago. Chance led me to one about a year ago. I 
was travelling in one of the northeastern counties, 
when I overtook a swarthy, bright-eyed, smerky little 
fellow, riding a small pony, and bearing on his shoul- 
der a long, heavy rifle, which, judging from its looks, 
I should say had done service in Morgan's corps. 

" Good morning, sir !" said I, reining up my horse 
as I came beside him. 

" How goes it, stranger ?" said he, with a tone of 
independence and self-confidence that awakened my 
curiosity to know a little of his character. 

" Going driving ?" inquired I. 

" Not exactly," replied he, surveying my horse with 
a quizzical smile ; " I haven't been a driving by my. 
self for a year or two ; and my nose has got so bad 
lately, I can't cany a cold trail without hounds to help 

Alone, and without hounds as he was, the question 
was rather a silly one ; but it answered the purpose 
for which it was put, which was only to draw him into 
conversation, and I proceeded to make as decent a re- 
treat as I could. 

" I didn't know," said I, " but that you were going 
to meet the huntsmen, or going to your stand." 

" Ah, sure enough," rejoined he, " that mout be a 
bee, as the old woman said when she killed a wasp. 
It seems to me I ought to know you." 

" Well, if you ought, why don't you ?" 

" What mout your name be ?" 

" It might be anything," said I, with borrowed wit ; 


for I knew my man, and knew what kind of conversa- 
tion would please him most. 

" Well, what is it, then ?" 

" It is Hall," said I ; " but you know it might as 
well have been anything else." 

" Pretty digging !" said he. " I find you're not the 
fool I took you to be ; so here's to a better acquaint- 
ance with you." 

" With all my heart," returned I ; " but you must be 
as clever as I've been, and give me your name." 

" To be sure I will, my old coon ; take it, take it, 
and welcome. Anything else about me you'd like to 
have ?" 

" No," said I, " there's nothing else about you worth 

" Oh, yes there is, stranger ! Do you see this ?" 
holding up his ponderous rifle with an ease that aston- 
ished me. " If you will go with me to the shooting- 
match, and see me knock out the bulVs-eye with her a 
few times, you'll agree the old Soap-slick' 's worth some- 
thing when Billy Curlew puts his shoulder to her." 

This short^sentence was replete with information to 
me. It taught me that my companion was Billy Cur- 
lew ; that he was going to a shooting -match ; that he 
called his rifle the Soap-stick, and that he was very 
confident of winning beef with her ; or, which is 
nearly, but not quite the same thing, driving the cross 
with her. 

" Well," said I, " if the shooting-match is not too 
far out of my way, I'll go to it with pleasure." 

" Unless your way lies through the woods from 
here," said Billy, " it'll not be much out of your way ; 
for it's only a mile ahead of us, and there is no other 
road for you to take till you get there ; and as that 
thing you're riding in an't well suited to fast travel- 
ling among brushy knobs, I reckon you won't lose 
much by going by. I reckon you hardly ever was at 
a shooting-match, stranger, from the cut of your coat ?" 

" Oh yes," returned I, " many a time. I won beef 
at -one when I was hardly old enough to hold a shot- 
gun off-hand." 


" Children don't go to shooting-matches about here," 
said he, with a smile of incredulity. " I never heard 
of but one that did, and he was a little swinge cat. 
He was born a shooting, and killed squirrels before he 
was weaned." 

" Nor did I ever hear of but one," replied I, " and 
that one was myself." 

" And where did you win beef so young, stranger V 

"At Berry Adams's." 

" Why, stop, stranger, let me look at you good ! Is 
your name Lyman Hall ?" 

" The very same," said I. 

" Well, dang my buttons, if you an't the very boy 
my daddy used to tell me about. I was too young to 
recollect you myself; but I've heard daddy talk about 
you many a time. I believe mammy's got a neck- 
handkerchief now that daddy won on your shooting at 
Collen Reid's store, when you were hardly knee high. 
Come along, Lyman, and I'll go my death upon you at 
the shooting-match, with the old Soap-stick at your 

"Ah, Billy," said I, "the old Soap-stick will do 
much better at your own shoulder. It was my moth- 
er's notion that sent me to the shooting-match at Berry 
Adams's ; and, to tell the honest truth, it was altogeth- 
er a chance shot that made me win beef; but that 
wasn't generally known ; and most everybody believed 
that I was carried there on account of my skill in 
shooting ; and my fame was spread far and wide, I 
well remember. I remember too, perfectly well, your 
father's bet on mte at the store. He was at the shoot- 
ing-match, and nothing could make him believe but 
that I was a great shot with a rifle as well as a shot- 
gun. Bet he would on me, in spite of all I could say, 
though I assured him that I had never shot a rifle in 
my life. It so happened, too, that there were but two 
bullets, or, rather, a bullet and a half; and so confi- 
dent was your father in my skill, that he made me 
shoot the half bullet ; and, strange to tell, by another 
chance shot, I like to have drove the cross and won 
his bet." 


" Now I know you're the very chap ; for I heard 
daddy tell that very thing about the half bullet. Don't 
say anything about it, Lyman, and darn my old shoe? 
if I don't tare the lint off the boys with you at the 
shooting-match. They'll never 'spect such a looking 
man as you are of knowing anything about a rifle. I'll 
risk your chance shots." 

I soon discovered that the father had eaten soui 
grapes, and the son's teeth were on edge ; for Billy 
was just as incorrigibly obstinate in his belief of my 
dexterity with a rifle as his father had been before him. 

We soon reached the place appointed for the shoot- 
ing-match. It went by the name of Sims's Cross 
Roads, because here two roads intersected each other ; 
and because, from the time that the first had been laid 
out, Archibald Sims had resided there. Archibald had 
been a justice of the peace in his day (and where is 
the man of his age in Georgia who has not ?) ; conse- 
quently, he was called 'Smrire Sims. It is the custom 
in this state, when a man has once acquired a title, 
civil or military, to force it upon him as long as he 
lives ; hence the countless number of titled persona- 
ges who are introduced in these sketches. 

We stopped at the 'squire's door. Billy hastily dis- 
mounted, gave me the shake of the hand which he had 
been reluctantly reserving for a mile back, and, lead- 
ing me up to the 'squire, thus introduced me : " Uncle 
Archy, this is Lyman Hall ; and for all you see him in 
these fine clothes, he's a swinge cat ; a darn sight clev- 
erer fellow than he looks to be. Wait till you see 
him lift the old Soap-stick, and draw a bead upon the 
bull's-eye. You gwine to see fun here to-day. Don't 
say nothing about it." 

" Well, Mr. Swinge-cat," said the 'squire, " here's 
to a better acquaintance with you," offering me his 

" How goes it, Uncle Archy ?" said I, taking his 
hand warmly (for I am always free and easy with 
those who are so with me ; and in this course I rarely 
fail to please). " How's the old woman ?" 


" Egad," said the 'squire, chuckling, " there you're 
too hard for me ; for she died two-and-twenty years 
ago, and I haven't heard a word from her since." 

" What ! and you never married again !" 

" Never, as God's my judge !" (a solemn assevera 
tion, truly, upon so light a subject.) 

" Well, that's not my fault." 

" No, nor it's not mine wither," said the 'squire. 

Here we were interrupted by the cry of another 
Rancey Sniffle. " Hello, here ! All you as wish to 
put in for the shoot'n'-match, come on here ! for the 
putt'n' in's riddy to begin." 

About sixty persons, including mere spectators, had 
collected ; the most of whom were more or less obe- 
dient to the call of Mealy Whitecotton, for that was 
the name of the self-constituted commander-in-chief. 
Some hastened and some loitered, as they desired to be 
first or last on the list ; for they shoot in the order in 
which their names are entered. 

The beef was not present, nor is it ever upon such 
occasions ; but several of the company had seen it, 
who all concurred in the opinion that it was a good 
beef, and well worth the price that was set upon it — 
eleven dollars. A general inquiry ran round, in or- 
der to form some opinion as to the number of shots 
that would be taken ; for, of course, the price of a 
shot is cheapened in proportion to the increase of that 
number. It was soon ascertained that not more than 
twenty persons would take chances ; but these twenty 
agreed to take the number of shots, at twenty-five cents 

The competitors now began to give in their names ; 
some for one, some for two, three, and a few for as 
many as four shots. 

Billy Curlew hung back to the last ; and when the 
list was offered him, five shots remained undisposed of. 

" How many shots left ?" inquired Billy. 

" Five," was the reply. 

" Well, I take 'em all. Put down four shcts to me, 
and one to Lymar. Hall, paid for by William Curlew." 


I was thunder-struck ; not at his proposition to pay 
for my shot, because I knew that Billy meant it as a 
token of friendship, and he would have been hurt if I 
had refused to let him do me this favour ; but at the 
unexpected announcement of my name as a competitor 
for beef; at least one hundred miles from the place of 
my residence. I was prepared for a challenge from 
Billy to some of his neighbours for a private match 
upon me ; but not for this. 

I therefore protested against his putting in for me, 
and urged every reason to dissuade him from it that I 
could, without wounding his feelings. 

" Put it down !" said Billy, with the authority of an 
emperor, and with a look that spoke volumes intelligi- 
ble to every by-stander. " Reckon I don't know what 
I'm about ?" Then wheeling off, and muttering in an 
under, self-confident tone, " Dang old Roper," contin- 
ued he, " if he don't knock that cross to the north cor- 
ner of creation and back again before a cat can lick 
her foot." 

Had I been king of the cat tribe, they could not 
have regarded me with more curious attention than did 
the whole company from this moment. Every inch of 
me was examined with the nicest scrutiny ; and some 
plainly expressed by their looks that they never would 
have taken me for such a bite. I saw no alternative but 
to throw myself upon a third chance shot ; for though, 
by the rules of the sport, I would have been allowed to 
shoot by proxy, by all the rules of good breeding I was 
bound to shoot in person. It would have been unpar- 
donable to disappoint the expectations which had been 
raised on me. Unfortunately, too, for me, the match 
differed in one respect from those which I had been in 
the habit of attending in my younger days. In olden 
time the contest was carried on chiefly with shot-guns, 
a generic term which, in those days, embraced three 
descriptions of firearms : Indian-traders (a long, cheap, 
but sometimes excellent kind of gun, that mother Brit- 
ain used to send hither for traffic with the Indians) ; 
the large musket, and the shot-gun, properly so called 


Rifles were, however, always permitted to compete 
with them, under equitable restrictions. These were, 
that they should be fired ofF-hand, while the shot-guns 
were allowed a rest, the distance being equal ; or that 
the distance should be one hundred yards for a rifle, 
to sixty for the shot-gun, the mode of firing being equal. 

But this was a match of rifles exclusively ; and these 
are by far the most common at this time. 

Most of the competitors fire at the same target ; 
which is usually a board from nine inches to a foot 
wide, charred on one»side as black as it can be made 
by fire, without impairing materially the uniformity of 
its surface ; on the darkened side of which is pegged a 
square piece of white paper, which is larger or small- 
er, according to the distance at which it is to be placed 
from the marksmen. This is almost invariably sixty 
yards, and for it the paper is reduced to about two and 
a half inches square. Out of the centre of it is cut a 
rhombus of about the width of an inch, measured di- 
agonally ; this is the bull's eye, or diamond, as the 
marksmen choose to call it : in the centre of this is 
♦he cross. But every man is permitted to fix his tar- 
get to his own taste ; and accordingly, some remove one 
fourth of the paper, cutting from the centre of the 
square to the two lower corners, so as to leave a large 
angle opening from the centre downward ; while others 
reduce the angle more or less : but it is rarely the 
case that all are not satisfied with one of these figures. 

The beef is divided into five prizes, or, as they are 
commonly termed, five quarters — the hide and tallow 
counting as one. For several years after the revolu- 
tionary war, a sixth was added ; the lead which was 
shot in the match. This was the prize of the sixth 
best shot ; and it used to be carefully extracted from 
the board or tree in which it was lodged, and afterward 
remoulded. But this grew out of the exigency of the 
times, and has, I believe, been long since abandoned 

The three master shots and rivals were Moses Firm- 
by, Larkiri Spivey, and Billy Curlew ; to whom was 


added, upon this occasion, by common consent and with 
awful forebodings, your humble servant. 

The target was fixed at an elevation of about three 
feet from the ground ; and the judges (Captain Turner 
and 'Squire Porter) took their stands by it, joined by 
about half the spectators. 

The first name on the catalogue was Mealy White- 
cotton. Mealy stepped out, rifle in hand, and toed the 
mark. His rifle was about three inches longer than 
himself, and near enough bis own thickness to make 
the remark of Darby Chislom, as he stepped out, toler- 
ably appropriate : " Here comes the corn-stock and 
the sucker !" said Darby. 

" Kiss my foot !" said Mealy. " The way I'll creep 
into that bull's-eye's a fact." 

" You'd better creep into your hind sight," said Dar- 
by. Mealy raised and fired. 

" A pretty good shot, Mealy !" said one. 

" Yes, a blamed good shot !" said a second. 

" Well done, Meal !" said a third. 

I was rejoiced when one of the company inquired, 
" Where is it ?" for I could hardly believe they were 
founding these remarks upon the evidence of their 

" Just on the right-hand side of the bull's-eye," was 
the reply. 

I looked with all the power of my eyes, but was un- 
able to discover the least change in the surface of the 
paper. Their report, however, was true ; so much 
keener is the vision of a practised than an unpractised 

The next in order was Hiram Baugh. Hiram was 
like some race-horses which I have seen ; he was too 
good not to contend for every prize, and too good for 
nothing ever to win one. 

" Gentlemen," said he, as he came to the mark, " I 
don't say that I'll win beef ; but if my piece don't blow, 
I'll eat the paper, or be mighty apt to do it, if you'll 
b'lieve my racket. My powder are not good powder, 
gentlemen ; I bought it thum (from) Zeb Daggett, and 


gfti him three quarters of a dollar a pound for it ; but 
it are not what I call good powder, gentlemen ; but ii 
old Buck-killer burns it clear, the boy you call Hiram 
Baugh eat's paper, or comes mighty near it." 

" Well, blaze away," said Mealy, " and be d — d to 
you, and Zeb Daggett, and your powder, and Buck- 
killer, and your powder-horn and shot-pouch to boot ! 
How long you gwine stand thar talking 'fore you 
shoot V 

" Never mind," said Hiram, " I can talk a little and 
shoot a little too ; but that's nothin'. Here goes !" 

Hiram assumed the figure of a note of interrogation, 
took a long sight, and fired. 

" I've eat paper," said he, at the crack of the gun, 
without looking, or seeming to look, towards the tar- 
get. " Buck-killer made a clear racket. Where am 
I, gentlemen ?" 

" You're just between Mealy and the diamond," was 
the reply. 

" 1 said I'd eat paper, and I've done it ; haven't I, 
gentlemen ?" 

" And 'spose you have !" said Mealy, " what do that 
'mount to ? You'll not win beef, and never did." 

" Be that as it mout be, I've beat Meal 'Cotton migh- 
ty easy ; and the boy you call Hiram Baugh are able 
to do it." 

w And what do that 'mount to 1 Who the devil an't 
able to beat Meal 'Cotton ! I don't make no pretense 
of bein' nothin' great, no how : but you always makes 
out as if you were gwine to keep 'em makin' crosses 
for you constant, and then do nothin' but ' eat paper' 
at last ; and that's a long way from eatiri' beef, 'cord 
in' to Meal 'Cotton's notions, as you call him.' 

Simon Stow was now called on. 

" Oh Lord !" exclaimed two or three : " now we 
have it. It'll take him as long to shoot as it would 
take 'Squire Dobbins to run round a track o' land." 

" Good-by, boys," said Bob Martin. 

" Where are you going, Bob ?" 


" Going to gather in my crop ; I'll be back agin 
though by the time Sime Stow shoots." 

Simon was used to all this, and therefore it did hot 
disconcert him in the least. He went off and brought 
his own target, and set it up with his own hand. 

He then wiped out his rifle, rubbed the pan with his 
hat, drew a piece of tow through the touch-hole with 
his wiper, filled his charger with great care, poured 
the powder into the rifle with equal caution, shoved in 
with his finger the two or three vagrant grains that 
lodged round the mouth of his piece, took out a hand- 
ful" of bullets, looked them all over carefully, selected 
one without flaw or wrinkle, drew out his patching, 
found the most even part of it, sprung open the grease- 
box in the breech of his rifle, took up just so much 
grease, distributed it with great equality over the cho. 
sen part of his patching, laid it over the muzzle of his 
rifle, grease side down, placed his ball upon it, pressed 
it a little, then took it up and turned the neck a little 
more perpendicularly downward, placed his knife han- 
dle on it, just buried it in the mouth of the rifle, cat oil 
the redundant patching just above the bullet, looked at 
it, and shook his head, in token that he had cut off too 
much or too little, no one knew which, sent down the 
Ldll, measured the contents of his gun with his first 
and second fingers on the protruding part of the ram- 
rod, shook his head again, to signify there was too much 
or too little powder, primed carefully, placed an arch- 
ed piece of tin over the hind sight to^ shade it, took his 
place, got a friend to hold his hat over the foresight to 
shade it, took a very long sight, fired, and didn't eveia 
eat the paper. 

" My piece was badly loadned," said Simon, when 
he learned the place of his ball. 

" Oh, you didn't take time," said Mealy. " No man 
can shoot that's in such a hurry as you is. I'd hardly 
got to sleep 'fore I heard the crack o' the gun." 

The next was Moses Firmby. He was a tall, slim 
man, of rather sallow complexion ; and it is a singu- 
lar fact, that though probably no part of the world is 


more healthy than the mountainous parts of Georgia, 
the mountaineers have not generally robust frames or 
fine complexions : they are, however, almost inexhaust- 
ible by toil. 

Moses kept us not long in suspense. His rifle was 
already charged, and he fixed it upon the target with a 
steadiness of nerve and aim that was astonishing to me 
and alarming to all the rest. A few seconds, and the 
report of his rifle broke the deathlike silence which 

" No great harm done yet," said Spivey, manifestly 
relieved from anxiety by an event which seemed to me 
better calculated to produce despair. Firmby's ball 
had cut out the lower angle of the diamond, directly 
on a right line with the cross. 

Three or four followed him without bettering his 
shot; all of whom, however, with one exception, "eat 
the paper." 

It now came to Spivey's turn. There was nothing 
remarkable in his person or manner. He took his 
place, lowered his rifle slowly from a perpendicular 
until it came on a line with the mark, held it there like 
a vice for a moment, and fired. 

" Pretty sevigrons, but nothing killing yet," said 
Billy Curlew, as he learned the place of Spivey's ball. 

Spivey's ball had just broken the upper angle of the 
diamond ; beating Firmby about half its width. 

A few more shots, in which there was nothing re- 
markable, brought us to Billy Curlew. Billy stepped 
out with much confidence, and brought the Soap-stick 
to an order, while he deliberately rolled up his shirt 
sleeves. Had I judged of Billy's chance of success 
from the looks of his gun, I should have said it was 
hopeless. The stock of Soap. stick seemed to have 
been made with a case-knife ; and had it been, the tool 
would have been but a poor apology for its clumsy ap- 
pearance. An auger-hole in the breech served for a 
grease-box ; a cotton string assisted a single screw in 
holding on the lock ; and the thimbles were made, one 
of brass, one of iron, and one of tin. 


" Where's Lark Spivey's bullet ?" called out Billy to 
the judges, as he finished rolling up his sleeves. 

" About three quarters of an inch from the cross," 
was the reply. 

" Well, clear the way ! the Soap-stick's coming, and 
she'll be along in there among 'em presently." 

Billy now planted himself astraddle, like an inverted 
V ; shot forward his left hip, drew his body back to an 
angle of about forty-five degrees with the plane of the 
horizon, brought his cheek down close to the breech 
of old Soap-stick, and fixed her upon the mark with 
untrembling hand. His sight was long, and the swell- 
ing muscles of his left arm led me to believe that he 
was lessening his chance of success with every half 
second that he kept it burdened with his ponderous 
rifle ; but it neither flagged nor wavered until Soap- 
stick made her report. 

" Where am I ?" said Billy, as the smoke rose from 
before his eye. 

" You've jist touched the cross on the lower side," 
was the reply of one of the judges. 

" I was afraid I was drawing my bead a leetle too 
fine," said Billy. " Now, Lyman, you see what the 
Soap-stick can do. Take hei*, and show the boys how 
you used to do when you was a baby." 

I begged to reserve my shot to the last ; pleading, 
rather sophistically, that it was, in point of fact, one of 
Billy's shots. My plea was rather indulged than sus- 
tained, and the marksmen who had taken more than 
one shot commenced the second round. This round 
was a manifest improvement upon the first. The 
cross was driven three times : once by Spivey, once 
by Firmby, and once by no less a personage than Mea- 
ly Whitecotton, whom chance seemed to favour for 
this time, merely that he might retaliate upon Hiram 
Baugh ; and the bull's-eye was disfigured out of all 

The third and fourth rounds were shot. Billy dis- 
charged his last shot, which left the rights of parties 
+ hus : Billy Curled first and fourth choice, Spivey sec. 


ond, Firmby third, and Whitecotton fifth. Some of 
my readers may perhaps be curious to learn how a dis- 
tinction comes to be made between several, all of whom 
drive the cross. The distinction is perfectly natural 
and equitable. Threads are stretched from the unef- 
faced parts of the once intersecting lines, by means of 
which the original position of the cross is precisely as- 
certained. Each bullet-hole being nicely pegged up 
as it is made, it is easy to ascertain its circumference. 
To this I believe they usually, if not invariably, meas- 
ure, where none of the balls touch the cross ; but if 
the cross be driven, they measure from it to the centre 
of the bullet-hole. To make a draw shot, therefore, 
between two who drive the cross, it is necessary that 
the centre of both balls should pass directly through 
the cross ; a thing that veiy rarely happens. 

The Bile alone remained to shoot. Billy wiped out 
his rifle carefully, loaded her to the top of his skill, and 
handed her to me. " Now," said he, " Lyman, draw 
a fine bead, but not too fine ; for Soap-stick bears up 
her ball well. Take care and don't touch the trigger 
until you've got your bead ; for she's spring-trigger'd, 
and goes mighty easy : but you hold her to the place 
you want her, and if she don't go there, dang old Ro- 

I took hold of Soap-stick, and lapsed immediately 
into the most hopeless despair. I am sure I never 
handled as heavy a gun in all my life. " Why, Billy," 
said I, " you little mortal, you ! what do you use such 
a gun as this for ?" 

" Look at the bull's-eye yonder !" said he. 

" True," said I, " but J can't shoot her ; it is im- 

" Go 'long, you old coon !" said Billy ; " I see what 
you're at ;" intimating that all this was merely to make 
the coming shot the more remarkable ; " Daddy's little 
boy don't shoot anything but the old Soap-stick here 
to-day, I know." 

The judges, I knew, were becoming impatient, and, 
withal, my situation was growing more embarrassing 
S 2 


every second ; so I e'en resolved to try the Soap-stick 
without farther parley. 

I stepped out, and the most intense interest was ex- 
cited all around me, and it flashed like electricity 
around the target, as I judged from the anxious gaze 
of all in that direction. 

Policy dictated that I should fire with a falling rifle, 
and I adopted this mode ; determining to fire as soon 
as the sights came on a line with the diamond, head or 
no lead. Accordingly, I commenced lowering old 
Soap-stick ; but, in spite of all my muscular powers, 
she was strictly obedient to the laws of gravitation, 
and came down with a uniformly accelerated velocity. 
Before I could arrest her downward flight, she had not 
only passed the target, but was making rapid encroach- 
ments on my own toes. 

" Why, he's the weakest man in the arms I ever 
seed," said one, in a half whisper. 

" It's only his fun," said Billy ; " I know him." 

" It may be fun," said the other, " but it looks might- 
ily like yearnest to a man up a tree." 

I now, of course, determined to reverse the mode of 
firing, and put forth all my physical energies to raise 
Soap-stick to the mark. The effort silenced Billy, and 
gave tongue to all his companions. I had just strength 
enough to master Soap-stick's obstinate proclivity, and, 
consequently, my nerves began to exhibit palpable signs 
of distress with her first imperceptible movement up- 
ward. A trembling commenced in my arms ; in- 
creased, and extended rapidly to my body and lower 
extremities ; so that, by the time that I had brought 
Soap-stick up to the mark, I was shaking from head to 
foot, exactly like a man under the continued action of a 
strong galvanic battery. In the mean time my friends 
gave vent to their feelings freely. 

" I swear poin' blank," said one, " that m,an can't 

" He used to shoot well," said another ; " but can't 
now, nor never could." 

" You better git away from 'bout that mark !" bawled 


a third, " for I'll be dod darned if Broadcloth don't 
give some of you the dry gripes if you stand too close 

" The stranger's got the feedod&les"* said a fourth, 
with humorous gravity. 

" If he had bullets enough in his gun, he'd shoot a 
ring round the bull's-eye big as a spinning wheel," said 
a fifth. 

As soon as I found that Soap-stick was high enough 
(for I made no farther use of the sights than to ascer- 
tain this fact), I pulled trigger, and off she went. I 
have always found that the most creditable way of re- 
lieving myself of derision was to heighten it myself as 
much as possible. It is a good plan in all circles, but 
by far the best which can be adopted among the plain, 
rough farmers of the country. Accordingly, I brought 
old Soap-stick to an order with an air of triumph ; tip- 
ped Billy a wink, and observed, " Now, Billy, 's your 
time to make your fortune. Bet 'em two to one that 
I've knocked out the cross." 

" No, I'll be dod blamed if I do," said Billy ; " but 
I'll bet you two to one you han't hit the plank." 

" Ah, Billy," said I, " I was joking about letting, for 
I never bet ; nor would I have you to bet : indeed, I 
do not feel exactly right in shooting for beef; for it is a 
species of gaming at last : but I'll say this much : if 
that cross isn't knocked out, I'll never shoot for beef 
again as long as I live." 

" By dod," said Mealy Whitecotton, "you'll lose no 
great things at that." 

" Well," said I, " I reckon I know a little about wab- 
bling. Is it possible, Billy, a man who shoots as well 
as you do, never practised shooting with the double 
wabble ? It's the greatest take in in the world when 
you learn to drive the cross with it. Another sort for 

* This word was entirely new to me ; but like most, if not all 
words in use among the common people, it is doubtless a legitimate 
English word, or, rather, a compound of two words, the last a little 
corrupted, and was very aptly applied in this instance. It is a com- 
pound of "pee" to peep with one eye, and " daddle," to totter ot 


getting bets upon, to the drop -sight, with a single wab 
ble ! And the Soap-stick's the very yarn for it." 

" Tell you what, stranger," said one, " you're toa 
hard for us all here. We never liearn o' that sort o' 
shoot'n' in these parts." 

" Well," returned I, " you've seen it now, and I'm 
the boy that can do it." 

The judges were now approaching with the target, 
and a singular combination of circumstances had kept 
all my party in utter ignorance of the result of my shot. 
Those about the target had been prepared by Billy 
Curlew for a great shot from me ; their expectations 
had received assurance from the courtesy which had 
been extended to 'me ; and nothing had happened to dis- 
appoint them but the single caution to them against the 
" dry gripes," which was as likely to have been given 
in irony as in earnest ; for my agonies under the 
weight of the Soap-stick were either imperceptible to 
them at the distance of sixty yards, or, being visible, 
were taken as the flourishes of an expert who wished 
to " astonish the natives." The other party did not 
think the direction of my ball worth the trouble of a 
question ; or if they did, my airs and harangue had put 
the thought to flight before it was delivered. Conse- 
quently, they were all transfixed with astonishment 
when the judges presented the target to them, and 
gravely observed, " It's only second best, after all the 

"Second best!" exclaimed I, with uncontrollable 

The whole of my party rushed to the target to 
have the evidence of their senses before they would 
believe the report : but most marvellous fortune de- 
creed that it should be true. Their incredulity and 
astonishment were most fortunate for me ; for they 
blinded my hearers to the real feelings with which the 
exclamation was uttered, and allowed me sufficient time 
to prepare myself for making the best use of what I had 
said before with a very different object. 

"Second best!" reiterated I, with an air of despond* 


ency, as the company turned from the target to me. 
" Second best only ? Here, Billy, my son, take the old 
Soap-stick ; she's a good piece, but I'm getting too old 
and dimsighted to shoot a rifle, especially with the 
drop-sight and double wabbles." 

" Why, good Lord a'mighty !" said Billy, with a 
look that baffles all description, " an't you driv the 
cross !" 

" Oh, driv the cross !" rejoined I, carelessly. " What's 
that ! Just look where my ball is ! I do believe in my 
soul its centre is a full quarter of an inch from the 
cross. I wanted to lay the centre of the bullet upon 
the cross, just as if you'd put it there with your fin- 

Several received this palaver with a contemptuous 
but very appropriate curl of the nose ; and Mealy 
Whitecotton offered to bet a half pint " that I couldn't 
do the like again with no sort o' wabbles, he didn't 
care what/' But I had already fortified myself on this 
quarter by my morality. A decided majority, how- 
ever, were clearly of opinion that I was serious ; and 
they regarded me as one of the wonders of the world. 
Billy increased the majority by now coming out fully 
with my history, as he had received it from his father ; 
to which I listened with quite as much astonishment as 
any other one of his hearers. He begged me to go 
home with him for the night, or, as he expressed it, " to 
go home with him and swap lies that night, and it 
shouldn't cost me a cent ;" the true reading of which 
is, that if I would go home with him, and give him the 
pleasure of an evening's chat about old times, his house 
should be as free to me as my own. But I could not 
accept his hospitality without retracing five or six miles 
of the road which I had already passed, and therefore 
I declined it. 

" Well, if you won't go, what must I tell the old 
woman for you ? for she'll be mighty glad to hear from 
the boy that won the silk handkerchief for her, and I 
expect she'll lick me for not bringing you home with 


" Tell her," said I, " that I send her a quarter of beet 
which I won, as I did the handkerchief, by nothing i» 
the world but mere good luck." 

" Hold your jaw, Lyman !" said Billy ; " I an't a gwine 
to tell the old woman any such lies ; for she's a rae* 
reg'lar built Meth'dist." 

As I turned to depart, " Stop a minute, stranger !' 
said one : then lowering his voice to a confidential but 
distinctly audible tone, " What you offering for ?" con- 
tinued he. I assured him I was not a candidate for 
anything ; that I had accidentally fallen in with Billy 
Curlew, who begged come with him to the shoot- 
ing-match, and, as it lay right on my road, I had stop, 
ped. " Oh," said he, with a conciliatory nod, " if you're 
up for anything, you needn't be mealy-mouthed about 
it 'fore us boys ; for we'll all go in for you here up to 
the handle." 

"Yes," said Billy, "dang old Roper if we don't 
go our death for you, no matter who offers. If ever 
you come out for anything, Lyman, jist let the boys 
of Upper Hogthief know it, and they'll go for you 
to the hilt, against creation, tit or no tit, that's the 

I thanked them kindly, but repeated my assurances. 
The reader will not suppose that the district took its 
name from the character of the inhabitants. In almost 
every county in the state there is some spot or district 
which bears a contemptuous appellation, usually derived 
from local rivalships, or from a single accidental cir- 

HALL. ,